Graham Reid | | 1 min read
The 2014 debut album Spirits by this central duo of Brooke Singer and John Fitzgerald (here with multi-instrumentalist Ben Lent of Trinity Roots, drummer Hikurangi Schaverien-Kaa and Penelope Esplin, and guests) was a sheer delight and we described it as “not so much shoegaze as folksy skygaze” for its dreamy folkadelic sound.
It is well worth finding even now, and probably even more so if this new one takes your fancy.
As it should.
They describe themselves as dream pop and that's fair too: the opening vocals on Time Did Not (“I stood still but time did not”) and Close My Eyes rise on wafts of electronics and ethereal backing vocals as Singer's voice dissolves into the ether.
There's an embrace of wistful reverie in places here (the folk-pop of One and Only) and somewhat darker reflections on Your Halo, (“back then we should have known it wouldn't well”). And as before many of their imagery and metaphors are drawn from the natural world (birds, flowers, fog).
The refinement of their lyrics read like spare poetry (Close My Eyes, the almost chorale quality of Days Shift) and relationship appear to evaporate slowly rather than in a hail of anger.
Feathers and Dreams is a moving vision of a bird caught in flames and its wings on fire. The point being that while we recoil in horror we should also honour the creature by not turning away but feeling its pain.
This depth of writing is matched by the arrangements which are supportively understated.
If the traditional pop end of the spectrum is dialled back in favour of parlour ballads and thoughtful folk that's only to say that this is an album for quiet consideration as its many layers reveal themselves.
Very easy to be seduced by.