I’ve been listening to a lot of drone/ambient/modern composition and the like over the past few years but have seldom written about it. I find it hard to quite capture what’s going on in these abstract pieces. If writing about music is dancing about architecture (and cheers Zappa for sewing that seed of doubt in every music writer’s mind) then writing about abstract pieces is like trying to describe alien structures of non-Euclidean geometry whilst on too much acid to ascertain which limb is which.
Or at least it is for me. Maybe I just feel uncormtable describing anything I can’t overuse the word ‘riff’ for.
Anyhow. I had a go at reviewing the latest work from Lawrence English. i very much like it, something which I hope comes through in this unappetising word salad.
Review, as ever, over at Echoes and Dust.
Part 12 of a 20 part rundown of my favourite tracks of 2015
Every Passing Hour doesn’t feel like a night time song but thanks to a couple of occasions I’ve listened to it in the dark I can’t help but think of night when I’m listening to it. The first time I was walking to the train station for the first train to London on a work trip, passing by more students taking the post-revelry walk home than people starting their day like me. The other time I was heading home for Christmas by megabus to save a few pounds, trundling through the cold streets with my head rested against the window. When I listen to Every Passing Hour I see streetlights smeared across the black sky by sleep-addled eyes and think about the pair of frustrated guys trying to convince their utterly hooned friend that yes he could walk if he’d just get his drunk ass up off the pavement.
It’s funny how these things memories attached to songs. Every Passing Hour sounds like it deserves a more bucolic scene, but hey. That’s city life for you. Helios, aka Keith Kenniff, suffered for me in being one of those artists who seem to capture exactly what they’re going for so well on a relatively early release that no matter the quality of what followed I wasn’t all that interested. I convinced myself Eingya was all the Helios I’d ever need. But I gave every new record a listen to reaffirm my faith in that records unassailable Heliosness.
Every Passing Hour, and the rest of parent album Yume, changed that. This song might be the single most beautiful thing he’s released. I’m not sure if it’s a new creative peak or whether I’ve just found myself in a place where I’m more open to Kenniff’s work but either way this is a truly breathtaking piece, starting in unassumingly melancholy ambience and building to a mini-masterpiece of longing that made nondescript sleepy Welsh streets hum with meaning on cold winter mornings.