At the Down-Turned Jagged Rim of the Sky continues the pattern, coming almost out of nowhere. The songs shift their focus from the previous acoustic work ever present on Safe Like Home and earlier albums, while also veering into minimal noise pop and procession-paced dirges of pitch black radiance. Tastefully mixed by Odd Nosdam (yes, that Odd Nosdam), Bailiff’s songs weave a worn tapestry of lamentful downers leaving little for want. The nine songs here each helm substantial weight and mesh comfortably in cold, dark resonance. The dichotomous opening tracks span the entire ground Bailiff’s shooting for here, with “Your Ghost Is Not Enough” drifting in the demented alien frequencies of Clear Horizon and “Take Me To the Sun” bridging the gap between Loveless and Yo La Tengo. The latter could easily serve as 2012′s noise pop anthem.
The action is dialed back a bit on “Sanguine,” a bass- and organ-backed tune resembling Samara Lubelski at 4:00 AM. The sparse instrumentation and largely deep tones accompany Bailiff’s voice like a small fire in the cold. She sings of empty love and bitter exchanges: “Don’t say a word. We can no longer sustain whispers and dreams. Grow up before it’s too late.” The narrative gets a bit darker on “If You Say It,” a doom-affected pop song that ditches any color or real beauty. Closing track “Firefly” returns with relatively upbeat flare, coupling the jangley rhythm and coldly warm melody for a fitting end to some of Bailiff’s best work yet.