Release Date: Feb 17, 2014
Record label: Drag City
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Lo-Fi, Experimental Rock
Belo, below, belong, beloved; mancie, romance, manic, mania. Belomancie is either a neologism or a misspelling of belomancy, the ancient art of divination by use of arrows. Why Sun Araw chose to title his newest record after an occult practice, usually associated with the Greek god Cupid, is unknown. But it is important to know that we start here with the difficulty of a textual surface — the title of a body of music — which foreshadows Cameron Stallones’ concerns about timbre and artifice.
The back cover of Belomancie reads “COMPOSED, PERFORMED, & PRODUCED BY CAMERON STALLONES.” A few years ago, that information would’ve been redundant, as Sun Araw began in the late 00’s clearly as Stallones solo project. But lately it’s been an expanding universe, incorporating various musicians into both studio and concert settings; he’s even referred to it as the Sun Araw Band. This ensemble has morphed so much that some iterations took on new names—Turban Chopsticks, Duppy Gun, The Celebrate Music Synthesizer Group—suggesting Stallones is increasingly interested in subsuming his personality into a larger collective.
An experiment in active listening, Cameron Stallone returns with Belomancie, a series of drifting sound experiments recorded under his Sun Araw moniker. Not so much a collection of songs as it is a collection of sonic spaces; the album finds Stallone creating a series of lo-fi soundscapes for the listener to get lost in. Rather than work within a specific style throughout the entire album, Stallone creates a series of unique headspaces, making for a more eclectic offering than some of his past work.
Ever since his first album released under the Sun Araw name back in 2008 there’s always been a mildly paradoxical quality to the output of California-based musician Cameron Stallones. Each of his albums seems to offer a small scale musical reinvention of sorts while simultaneously managing to uphold some deeper artistic principles. Belomancie is the 10th Sun Araw album in six years (11th if you include his 2012 collaboration with M Geddes Gengras & The Congos).