Laura Snapes’ review of “Kairos” by White Hinterland

White Hinterland

Artist: White Hinterland

Album: Kairos

Critic: Laura Snapes

Publication: The Quietus, 2010

Writing Disorders: Jargon Palsy, Purple Hemorrhage

Longest Sentence: 62 words

Dollar Words: Aubades, lucubrations, melismatic, diaphanous, hypnagogic

Wha Happen?: “a qualitative state of time suspended rather than a chronological march, one that exists in an ether”



Laura, were you born without a limbic system? If you’re physically capable of enjoying music, it doesn’t show. Well, that’s not true. You did suggest the slimmest margin of enjoyment at the very end of your review:


“it’s a pleasure to hear her rejoicing in the freedom of her vocal reincarnation”


Wow, that sounds like one hell of a dopamine rush. Did you — did you — did you even…upturn the corners of your mouth in a muscular display of approval? Sigh…such a free spirit. I’m biased here, Laura, but stale as it was, that was probably the most succinct idea you translated into words. Some examples for comparison:


“Subject matter and colour spectrum taken into consideration, this record could easily have floated off into the ether of shapeless lo-fi amoebas without the appropriate anchoring.”


“Much of Kairos takes place around a dark lake in the wooded grounds of Dienel’s mind’s eye, beneath a glowing dewy orb.”


“looping patters around dubby thumps, at others jabbing and spindling with the precision of an industrial weaving machine.”


I think you need a change of venue for your thoughts, because they’re not translating well into writing, Laura. You could try sculpting, soap carving, or even interpretive dance. I think I’d understand flailing and prancing about White Hinterland’s new album more than I understood the stuff you wrote.


You see, Laura, when you write such weird, abstract gibberish about an album that few people have even experienced yet, you’re not exactly holding their hand on the tour. If you’d written this review two years hence after swaths of people had already soaked it in, half of it might make sense. But now it just reads like a really emo yearbook page with level-four encryption:


“a gorgeous collection of aubades, full of the uncertainties that late night emotional lucubrations bring.”


I feel like I’m in a Chinese butcher shop, not knowing what the hell’s in front of me. Look, I get that The Quietus isn’t geared towards the grown-ups who failed remedial math, but could you maybe just ATTEMPT to include folks who don’t carry a pocket dictionary? What’s your angle here, Snapes? You saying that only those who’ve studied the Total Codex can sit in your tree house? Well, f**k your tree house.


I’ve been trying to piece together what might possess someone to mold this lump of bird suet and call it a music review. None of your writing’s ever tickled my fancy, but I don’t remember it being such a hysterectomy of the English language. I’m starting to think John Doran put you up to this. Did he refuse to publish it until you spread those sentences out, stretched them as far as they could go? Did he…force you……to write five adjectives to describe a cloud?


“In spite of the many words that have been bandied about to try and describe this new hazy, dreamy, diaphanous, gauzy, hypnagogic cloud that’s engulfed music in recent months, it seems that the Ancient Greeks coined the perfect encapsulation of all that woozes over 2000 years ago.”


Who’s been bandying words about a hypnagogic cloud?  No, seriously, who IS that? They sound like lunatics.


That’s it for now. In the meantime, Laura, you might want to get your pleasure center checked or at least take it for a spin sometime. You might learn something.

11 thoughts on “Laura Snapes’ review of “Kairos” by White Hinterland

  1. Aubades, lucubrations, melismatic, diaphanous, hypnagogic

    Are those some new found diseases? I think I’ve only heard melismatic and take a wild guess at what diaphanous means. But, seriously!

  2. I actually really enjoy some of her articles!
    She does use a fair few words that require me to open up Google, but then again, that’s why she’s a journalist and you’re not…
    Or perhaps you’d like all your reviews printed three syllables at a time, with bold lettering and bright illustrations?
    Other than maybe using one too many adjectives (like in the last quote) – at least she does fucking care about the music.
    “you might want to get your pleasure center checked out” – what does that even mean? Seems like somebody’s a bit jealous if you ask me…

  3. I have been a lurker for so loong! Nice blog you have there! Always hilarious and never fails to give me a good laugh. 😀

  4. “Much of Kairos takes place around a dark lake in the wooded grounds of Dienel’s mind’s eye, beneath a glowing dewy orb.”

    Wow, she has a way with words 🙂 I love Kairos! I’ve been a huge fan for years.

  5. I’m not getting it? This is the first time that I knew about White Hinterland. It seems that she’s getting a mix review, if I have time and if Ill remember her album I might listen to it. That way I’ll be able to judge her songs and her style.

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