The state51 Conspiracy
A good portion of Sixth June’s art lies in being able to present ostensibly simple melodies and sounds in an uncannily rich fashion. It’s not just a trick of production: something about Laslo Antal and Lidija Andonov’s songcraft immediately taps into deep wells of feeling and beauty via a combination of familiar darkwave and minimal synth moves. Third LP Trust strips things down, following up 2017’s excellent Virgo Rising by paring much of the duo’s style down to a core of Andonov’s vocals and synths to great effect.
The above isn’t meant to sell short Trust‘s impeccable delivery. The subtle rise and fall of wooden percussion lines through opening overture “In Dreams” is a great demonstration of how much atmosphere can be created with the slightest of moves. The closest comparison I can think of are the more plaintive and straightforward moments of mid-period Kirlian Camera, especially the Pictures From Eternity record. But while Andonov’s vocals often hold a velvety texture similar to Emilia Lo Jacono’s, the worlds conjured by tracks like “Oh Boy” and “Winter Didn’t Come” are unique to Sixth June. Rather than being wholly fantastic or ancient in a folk-styled way, there’s a smooth and canny continental nostalgia to Sixth June which hints at faded celluloid or fashion glamour.
Still, it’s tough to deny that the band’s muse doesn’t carry them into some very meditative if not outright devotional territory. Not speaking Serbian, the literal meaning behind “Negde Neko” might have been lost on me, but there’s no mistaking the loneliness and pleading which Andonov communicates as synth pads make their way through low blipping beats. The sober procession of “Vodi Me” is more mysterious, with Antal’s voice joining Andonov’s to stride down stone hallways which might bring to mind either new age or sacred music, depending on your mileage.
Trust isn’t a perfect record – stacking some of the busier and more recognizably post-punk rooted songs on the second side of the record weans away some of the slinky yet austere charms of the more minimal tracks. But even still, Trust is haunting and compelling throughout. Elegant and mysterious, it underscores Sixth June’s preternatural talents even in their most discreet execution.