Lagrange Point: the five positions in an orbital configuration where a small object affected only by gravity can theoretically be stationary relative to two larger objects

Every once in a while life has Lagrange Points. Perfection slips in and out of reality, yet sometimes it can hold the line and maintain its integrity far after, theoretically, it should have dissolved. There are a few things in The Smoking Cupcake's life that have achieved - and thankfully maintained - Lagrange Points. Some of these revolve around an absolute synchronicty between people I know (e.g., Mrs. Cupcake, Isaac, etc.), others revolve around media (e.g., Electronic's first album, Thief, etc.) and still others are preserved as the most tender, real and sacred days past. Today, most likely in concert with much else contributing to this phenomenon - time with a certain respected celebrity friend, a center at work whose fragility simply refused to hold, unexpected conversations with the sincerest of old friends, etc. - I came upon an album that caught me by such surprise (though it shouldn't have), I can consider the experience a true Lagrange Point to add to all the others.

What album you ask? Mary Star of the Sea by ZWAN.

This album had been recommended to me by so many people that know me, I'm ashamed that its taken me more than 6 years from its release to actually give it a listen (apologies around, especially to Cian's sweet mother)...Nevertheless, I've finally gotten around to it. After hearing it now for the 4th time in a mere 4 hours, what surprises me the most about my reluctance to listen to it upon its release is that Billy Corgan cut it almost immediately on top of his brief stint as a contributing member of New Order during the Get Ready sessions and that album's pre-release mini-tour. I guess, never being a huge Pumpkins fan (blasphemy!), my subconscious reluctance precluded a college-try of a listen back in 2001. I couldn't have underestimated an artist or a record or a vibe more than I did with this absolutely brilliant stab at superstardom redux.

This is a true grower, gaining importance with every listen as the layers, both musically and lyrically, come out like a Seurat. Moreover, as you peel away these layers and superimpose them on the era that it was recorded, Mary Star of the Sea quickly bridges that flux between the death of Britpop, the disintegration of great Emo and the incoming wave of neo-post-punk (see The Killers) that was the early 2000's - fucking fantastic, yet unclassifiable. Imagine, if you will, Carnival of Light era RIDE mixed with Technique. A bitter and unthinkable [or even unfathomable to the uninitiated] proposition, true. Yet, in 2001, it seemed a perfect proposition to anyone that lived through both Shoegaze and Madchester. It suspends a time that never really existed - a Lagrange Point if you will.

Fucking brilliant. The perfect album for those waning days of summer, even if its already autumn.

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