Deserta – Black Aura My Sun

Black Aura My Sun is the debut album from Deserta – the solo project of Matthew Doty. Mat has had a lot of knowledge and expertise in shoegaze and post-punk, and he’s poured it all in this revelation of sound, an aural journey that stretches the bounds of imagination. The synths blend together masterfully, creating a spacious and atmospheric experience. A lot of reviewers, including myself, tag this entire album as ‘blissful’, and that would only scratch the surface. Mat has used his technical expertise and morphed it into an emotional voyage through the cosmos. Heavily inspired by the emotions that emerged as he approaches Fatherhood, Black Aura My Sun explores the anxious lows and the euphoric highs, resulting in a sprawling epic that’s full of mystery and wonder.

“Save Me” feels expansive with its spacious reverb. The swells are effervescent, accompanied by otherworldly vocals. One can imagine the movement of light as it travels across space, a spectrum that splits in every direction. “Paradiso” encompasses the title in its 6 minute runtime. An uplifting track that paints a wonderful sunrise on a lush green landscape. A slowly building crescendo of colors  floods through in the bridge section, creating an overwhelming sensation of euphoria and optimism. 

“Hide”, when compared to the other tracks, is more contemplative and anxious. A buzzing sawtooth drones around and creates a dissonance that the whole harmony contends with. There’s a story within its moving sections, a feeling that it wrestles to overcome. An abstraction that (for me, at least) changes with every repeat listen.

“Be So Blue” is cool and comforting, a gentle bed of sound to inspire you when you’re down. The only track with passably audible lyrics. It starts with : “Hush now don’t you cry / Don’t worry about tonight” and proceeds to cradle our eardrums through the end.

The closing “Black Aura” ends on a strong note, a solid resolution that wraps it all up. There’s a hint of mystery and lingering hesitation that broods at the start, but it resolves into a glorious climax, immersing you in the glow of a neon-lighted nirvana.

There are pieces of music where the artist disappears, and all you experience is raw emotion. You become so engrossed with it that every urge to analyze and scrutinize gets thrown out the window. Black Aura My Sun definitely achieves this and more, and is something I would recommend to those who think the music industry is stale or for those who want to expand their musical tastes. Not since Vangelis have I ever heard something created with so much technical prowess, while still evoking a feeling of spiritual bliss.

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