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Blonde, Arms Tight Black

by Several Wives

  • Limited Edition Cassette
    Cassette + Digital Album

    Cassette comes housed in a rare double sized case. All tapes a pro dubbed on Prison Clear with Red Liner shells, the custom 2 panel inlay has been printed on 300gsm recycled card.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Blonde, Arms Tight Black via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

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Side 1 24:09
Side 2 25:49


For over 5 years, Several Wives have been recording solo chamber music, perfecting an alchemy of disquieting beauty and dread inducing tension fit for the cinema screen and its most harrowingly romantic imaginings. Blonde, Arms Tight Black, Wive’s first full length recording, is interminably dark. Nearing 50 minutes in length, this debut is a prolonged haze of ghostly apparitions, orchestral instruments moaning as if bereaved, striking like streams of moonlight through a thick fog of nocturnal ambience. The songs that make up the record are so evocative of cinema that each one feels like a perfectly balanced scene, edited and constructed with an obsessive auteuristic vision. And like the best and most transgressive examples of cinema, the experience of this record is a kind of erotic and mind altering night terror. The compositional rigour displayed on Blonde, Arms Tight Black vastly distances its owners music from the clichéd troupes of the dark ambient genre, instead continuing in their own vein the sumptuous work of the likes of Howard Shore, Bernard Hermann and Angelo Bandalamenti. Perhaps the closest relative to Several Wives sound, to my ears anyway, is Akira Yamaoka’s work on the Silent Hill soundtracks, sharing a similarly hazed VHS quality and brooding romanticism. But whereas these composers have the tendency to sometimes delve into kitsch and cloying melodies to solicit feeling in their listeners, Several Wive’s genius lies in peeling away the chintz to reveal the stark, baroque beauty of their music, held out like an open wound. One cannot helped be reminded of a classic line from Manhunter: “Have you ever seen blood in the moonlight, Will? It appears quite black.”

One Night and Several Wives:

One night I remember seeing a firework spear through the sky and I thought it would never stop moving. One night I lost my senses in a wilderness of bricks and mortar. One night I kissed Hazel behind a row of shops - chip shop, video shop, newsagent, laundrette - is that a shop? One night somebody solemnly presented me with a blurred copy of what looked like an X-ray. One night I listened to Several Wives like a three year old and shadows of things emerged. One night my best friend overdosed and fell into a sinister sleep where he said he heard loud saxophones on repeat - God is a saxophonist is what I deduced from that. One night Several Wives spoke to me. One night I wanted to put everything straight - sort of. One night I trundled along in a distracted state staring into the canal after an argument with my older brother - I can still feel the pain. One night no-one believed me. One night Several Wives appeared to ask me if I had ever watched ants amongst the riverside grass? One night I watched the current and said: "I love you." One night I remember my heart hammering in that slender vein that divides my forehead. One night I saw Several Wives on several drugs and the small audience seemed to be locked in entranced speechlessness. One night I wandered into my own head and promptly lost the compass. One night I started to tell her my true history. One night I saw Several Wives stretching time into a series of meaningful minutes. One night the weather turned bad. One night I stared into walls full of cracks, festooned with green creeping plants, strange bushes whose names no one knew, wild flowers growing out of a tiny crevice, buses pouring poison but the flowers surviving, garnet roses, pale lilacs. One night I heard Several Wives make an epic weeping sound like the final cry of the final dinosaur. One night I gave up telling her my true history because it sounded false. One night days grow shorter. One night the house was dark.
- Austin Collings - author of Myth of Brilliant Summers & co-author of Renegade: The Lives & Tales of Mark E Smith.

"Tombed Visions are a Manchester (UK) based label that specialise in “Sound art, ambient music, experimental electronics and improvisation and aims to showcase the fringes of contemporary independent music. ” They first came to my attention via a couple of releases by the wonderful Bad Body. Having a deco at the site my eyes were drawn to this release by Several Wives. I’m a big fan of film soundtracks and so anything that takes the tropes from the great soundtrack artists and mixes them with some dark ambient and experimental electronica is going to float my metaphorical boat.

“Blonde, Arms Tight Black” is the soundtrack to the creepiest film your imagination can conjure – the atmospheres it creates are genuinely eerie and all done with one eye on making the album flow like a coherent suite of tracks. There are fleeting flashes of dark ambient – some cavernous drones and sepulchral silences – but such is the art of these guys that one would never ‘categorise’ this release as such, rather it should stand alone as the nigh on masterpiece that it is. Evocative, thought provoking and as immersive as hell. Another winner from Tombed Visions."
- Rats In The Walls


released November 27, 2017


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Tombed Visions Records Manchester, UK

Tombed Visions is a Manchester based cassette label specialising in improvisation, ambient music, experimental electronics and noir aesthetics and aims to showcase the fringes of contemporary independent music. All releases are limited edition and packaged with care, combining a love of graphic design, photography, typography with the wondrous sounds released. ... more

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