Sunday, 13 January 2013

Brambles – Charcoal

Sometime ago I stumbled across Nest, and low and behold they released an EP, Body Pilot (2011) to follow up their album Retold (2010). I’m a huge fan of this work and have mentioned a good few times on the blog. Nest can be found at Serein, a record label operating out Wales who have now given us Brambles, and his debut Charcoal.
Brambles Charcoal – physical edition
I bought the album on the strength of the the opening track alone. ‘To Speak of Solitude’ is the perfect mixture of warm nostalgia, quiet yearning and natural ambience. On the right headphones (and this album rewards close listening) you could imagine you were lake side in a peaceful mist, evergreens towering over you. Or maybe that’s just me. You know you’re onto something good when you think ‘the only thing wrong is that’s it’s thirty seconds too short.‘

‘Such Owls as You’ takes the already soporific pace and actually takes it down a notch. The rusty scrapes in the background and measured piano keep the interest and lull the listener along the journey, and Charcoal does feel like a journey.

‘In the Androgynous Dark’ starts out more somberly than the previous tracks but lightens with the piano melody to become a fragile and beautiful piece. It continues the theme of warm nostalgia and feels somewhat smoky with the addition of the wind instruments. 

‘Salt Photographs’ continues the mix of background ambience and delicate guitar strings. At nearly seven minutes long ‘Salt...’ benefits from cello and violin to add to the decidedly film soundtrack feel Charcoal has settled into.

The whole album is sublime, measured and possesses a warmth that has me returning time and again. All instrumental, it is the perfect night music, but also gentle enough for sleepy commutes.

Standout tracks: ‘To Speak of Solitude’ and ‘Arete’. Make sure to check out ‘Deep Corridor’ , a truly ambient piece with hints of Holy Other about it.

Visit www.serein.co.uk or stream the album from Soundcloud


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