Variant Sea - Wildwoods
Info: Pianist Luke Duffy and guitarist Shell Dooley joined forces in September 2015 to form ambient post-rock project Variant Sea. Working together to create visually inspired instrumental music, the pair have merged subtle piano melodies and turbulent multi-layered guitars to deliver a sound that is their own, which was heard on their acclaimed debut E.P. Season of Mists. Their debut E.P. received praise from The Last Mixed Tape, Nialler9, The Irish Times and State Magazine.
Last years EP Season of Mists, to be frank, flattened me and tugged emotions in every direction (indeed it was in my Top 10 Irish EP's of 2015), with acts like Variant Sea, as the months go by into the following year you stop at times and think, 'Oh yeah, I wonder are they going to be releasing anything soon?' A new EP, Fables, will be with us on the 28th of June, not long now, but in the interim we get to absorb its first single, 'Wildwoods'.
The movement and power are retained, and that is instantly noticeable, but something else struck me from the very first listen. It feels like they've cast themselves off further into the dark lake, letting the rope loosely slip off its iron post. As atmospheric as last years collection of tracks was, 'Wildwoods' somehow moves beyond that description and far into the distance. It's cinematic and heartfelt, and almost painfully gentle, piano and guitar take turns in consuming each other, then moving apart, and back again in a sad embrace. Eno's The Big Ship is inescapable and there's tips of Hauschka's 2014 LP Abandoned City. I might be wrong, but you sense that 'Wildwoods' is going to be part of a jigsaw rather than an example of what Fables is going to be all about across all of its tracks, either way, it's good to have VS back.
In case you missed 'Season of Mists'....
Variant Sea - River Sallows
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