Essential New Music: The Renderers’ “In The Sodium Light”


Apocalypse and dread have always wreathed the Renderers’ music, but it took a genuine disaster to set the stage for married singer/guitarists Brian and Maryrose Crook’s eighth album. They’re part of the diaspora that left Christchurch, New Zealand, after a series of earthquakes shook the town apart in 2011. Currently based in the United States., they’ve fashioned a record with feet in both the old sod and their new digs.

Much of this eerie, sorrowful music began as a soundtrack they composed for Kiwi documentarian Sarah Cordery’s consideration of the Palestinian conflict, Notes To Eternity. But the American musicians who currently accompany them display a special empathy for the country-tinged, sonically distressed character of the Crooks’ finished songs that make this their best album since the titanic A Dream Of The Sea.

—Bill Meyer