A.O. Gerber: Meet Me at the Gloaming

Meet Me at the Gloaming is Los Angeles indie artist A.O. Gerber’s second album following her acclaimed 2020 album Another Place To Need, which was produced by Gerber and Oakland based musician Madeline Kenney. Gerber and Kenney have teamed up again to co-produce Meet Me at the Gloaming, but this time around Gerber “shunned the usual process of seeking constant feedback, and instead leaned into a more isolated process”, producing much of the record at home on nights and weekends. For its recording, Alex Oñate (drums) joined Gerber and Kenney in the studio, with Megan Benavente (bass) and Lauren Elizabeth Baba (violin and viola) contributing remotely. Gerber says that she found “a lot of healing while making this record because I had to be the person to call the shots…I realized that I can exist as a musician completely outside of other people’s opinions of me.”

The more secluded recording process enhances deeply introspective songs exploring Gerber’s upbringing, much of which took place under the watchful gaze of a spiritual teacher who led her mother to completely uproot their lives and move the family from Northern California to Southern Oregon. Gerber uses multiple perspectives in an attempt to “hold the complexity of formative experiences and relationships, and resist the temptation to over-simplify them.” Ethereal opener “Disciple Song” recalls the hold this spiritual teacher had on Gerber’s sense of self, an “arbiter of my worthiness/arbiter of truth/make me into a melody/I can sing when you are through”

Much of the album is atmospheric and dreamy with an avant-garde sonic palette. “Mount Washington Phone Company” is quietly assured in a wash of synth and vocals and “Just as a Child” is a quiet swirl of introspection. “Only Mystery”, with flickering strings, guitar and synth reflect the subject of a complex relationship. “Noon of Love” is a warm meditation, “PFS” a lush repetitive drone cycle, and “What Are You Reading?” is 39 seconds of spacing out.

The contemplative tone does not preclude a sometimes energetic approach. The bright and up tempo “Walk In The Dark” is alive with surprising shrieks, and “You Got It Right” is kaleidoscope 80s pop. The album also benefits from an underlying tension created by working through conflicts. The electro-pop of “Looking For The Right Things” considers the push-and-pull of wanting to be good, and its seeming impossibility. “Hunger”, with its confident strong vocal, addresses the opposing forces of desire and restraint. The gentle and sensual “For” wrestles with human limitations. As the title of the album suggests, Gerber embraces being between two worlds, and the willingness to live with uncertainty creates an original artistic vision.

Note: in addition to the usual formats, Meet Me at the Gloaming is also available as a “Dinked” edition (number 212, on “Golden Hour” coloured vinyl with a signed and hand-numbered postcard – limited pressing of 400).

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Label: Hand In Hive
Release Date: 14 OCT 2022