You Were Always An Island opens with a downpour of rain. Staring out at its constant fall, listeners can only wait for it to stop. The music’s already waiting: for someone, and for a moment that will never arrive…
Alaskan Tapes aids in the clear-up operation, helping to cleanse the air if not the growing solitude. Quiet drones and sullen strings dispel the rain, but it lingers in the streets, overflowing around the mouth of its gutter. The music has been invaded by a longing which spreads like a tendril of ink in clear water, bruising the atmosphere with its purple, sour colour.
An event shakes the soul with the magnitude of an earthquake. In this case, the cruelty of distance and the greater cruelty of war which separates a couple. As a man leaves to fight, his beloved has no other choice but to wait for his return. She sends unanswered prayers. His absence grows longer with every sunset. Unable to wait and growing increasingly anxious, she sets off to look for him, a lighthouse offering a faint lifeline in the gathering gloom, only to sadly learn of his death. The separation is permanent – death us do part.
On the title track, a guitar’s melody drifts like a restless spirit, resurrecting post-rock flavours of old as it perfumes the ambient ether, resembling the instrumental music of Daughter or Jonsi & Alex. Vocals swirl and a piano gradually becomes the dominant instrument. Shimmering drones aid in making the music a quiet and introverted creature.
The loose mini-chords of an acoustic guitar, with vocals from Chantal, form a minute-long song, helping to add another lick of paint to the album’s colours. With You Were Always An Island, Alaskan Tapes has produced a perfectly-executed ambient record. Like the rain, the music stays with you long after it has gone, a lighthouse searching for a lost ship, a lover pining for a lost soul.
Made by hand,
Two tone / 4 panel hand made letter-pressed Somerset cotton CD covers, glass mastered CD, 12 x hand drawn images by the artist printed on luxury Gesso card (size A6) / 1 x vintage (Circa 1890 - 1919) glass negative / patchouli scent. All of the above rests inside stitched / sealed glassine bags, individually hand numbered on stamped tags. Download code
Made with love...
released June 30, 2018
Music: Alaskan Tapes
Mastering: Taylor Deupree
Design: Daniel Crossley