Marielle V Jakobsons “Starcore” album has been one of the most-played albums in PopLib HQ this Southern Hemisphere winter. It blends synth with Jakobson’s own acoustic instruments and voice to create layered hypnotic devotional music. Here’s “The Beginning is the End”:

Oakland, California-based Jakobsons is a classically-trained multi-instrumentalist playing violin, flute, synth, bass, and piano and adding her voice to create Kosmiche Music of the highest order. The combination of instruments and voices keeps the balance heavily on the human side, with electronics providing a helix of rhythm and melody to bind the acoustic drones into a rich, layered universe of sound.

If you like the ambient music of Steve Hillage and Miquette Giraudy (circa their 1979 album Rainbow Dome Musick which preceded the 90s ambient soundscapes of The Orb et al.) or contemporary synth+acoustic instrument inner space explorers The Utopia Strong, then “Star Core” is your cosmos to explore.

The blissful voices on this track remind me of the voices of another favourite instrumental album, also on Thrill Jockey – the glorious “Looks at the Bird” album (2003) by Tortoise-adjacent band Brokeback. Mary Hansen and Laetitia Sadier of Stereolab contributed vocals to three songs on that album, so if you want another Thrill Jockey rabbit-hole to fall down, start with that Brokeback album.