A Winged Victory For The Sullen - A Winged Victory For The Sullen

A Winged Victory For The Sullen — A Winged Victory For The Sullen

Kranky / Erased Tapes, 2011

The music is as gorgeous as the band name is pretentious, which is to say, it’s really gorgeous! “A Winged Victory For The Sullen” is the combined effort of Adam Wiltzie (from Stars of the Lid) and pianist Dustin O’Halloran, and this album feels kind of like a more considered, condensed version of a Stars of the Lid LP. It’s shorter, more acoustic, more explicitly piano-y. But it’s no less beautiful. If you love listening to abstract piano melodies and sustained chords floating in ambient space, this album is for you.

RIYD: Ambient, electroacoustic-drone-lite, Harold Budd, totally beautiful piano


1. We Played Some Open Chords And Rejoiced, For The Earth Had Circled The Sun Yet Another Year [6:19] — Again, the title is totally pretentious but the “open chords” are really really nice and relaxing.

2. Requiem For The Static King Part One [2:46] — Sweet billowy clouds of strings.

3. Requiem For The Static King Part Two [7:37] — More strings, but heavier this time, and with some light piano sprinkled in.

4. Minuet For A Cheap Piano Number Two [3:09] — Soft piano at the fore and rich strings in the back, but it’s like somebody hit the quiet pedal.

5. Steep Hills of Vicodin Tears [4:27] — Light electronic drone fades into gorgeous cello. The last minute is totally emotional, damn. Play this.

6. A Symphony Pathetique [12:42] — Hums and drones in the thick air and dark piano chords. Feels like Jon Brion.

7. All Farewells Are Sudden [7:36] — The most intense of the pieces, and the most reliant on the extreme poles of the piano’s tonal range.

Will Gottsegen