Seabuckthorn’s latest entry concentrates on the European travels of a distant, past-consumed family longing to return home, wanting to go back to a place of familiarity only to find themselves swept away by the rivers of time. Their meanderings through Europe can be heard in the long, drawn-out, and ancient strings, which are far removed from the present day, and the dusty notes feel as though they’ve recently been unearthed or discovered, opening up at the same time as an old family album, maybe. The years have yellowed like paper, but so have the memories and the music. The music’s clothing is old and grey.
Once-familiar roads have been blown away, and some parts of the landscape have changed beyond recognition. While change is a constant, the quality never seems to lessen. The swelling strings are buried in a past age, well-worn and gravel-voiced instead of smooth and slinky. Perhaps they are only now being reanimated, learning to use a voice after a long time spent in silence.
Over the space of this double album, a slow and patient unfolding occurs. Strings are able to breathe, finding the space they need to move, although their movements are lurching, clunky, and convulsive. Seabuckthorn illuminates the distance – a family, a time spent together, and a beautiful summer. It has the feel of old European adventures and trips to glorious cities, markets, churchyards, and yawning fields, with a population yet to face the music of climate change or even a World War.
Years erode the features, and a scattering of distortion eats away at the music. The year in question has faded away, and time has gone way beyond evening or dusk, but Seabuckthorn brings it back and makes it relevant once again. The music is late and so is the hour, but even as the light dims, a beautiful, rusty afterglow is left behind, a dull gleam coming from a King’s crown.
released July 1, 2020
Audio by Seabuckthorn
Mastering by James Plotkin
Print design by Craig Tattersall
Book design by Mikula Lullwitz
Packaging design by Daniel Crossley
Eilean is great at surprising the hell out of me when they find this cyclical, percolating, instrument-rich ambient music. Akin to Eilean's releases from Toàn and Sonmi451 which are two of my most favorite on the label, I'm already certain from the preview songs, that 'Illuminate' will be one of my favorite, most listened to albums of 2019! Hats off to Jason Corder, brilliant work sir. Lost Tribe Sound