A huge offering by Sussex’s Damselfly. As usual we are served up powerful, often romantic music with a strong side dish of melancholy. Strong major chords are regularly offset by clever counterpoints and mixes. And a varied palette – taking everything in from piano, cello, synths and some ear-bleeding guitar (‘Sealnicide’) – is superbly handled. There’s nowt gone to waste.
The record acts like a mindmap of England’s South coast. And the sense of sonic cartography is heightened by the strong association the scores have with their titles; none of this throwaway attitude to words on here! Rather, things are placed in the music to be savoured, to offer a key for further thought. For example, a mental picture of Eric Ravilious patiently throwing away sheet after sheet of watercolour paper whilst trying to capture the landscape is inescapable on the track named after him.
When listening in you are also reminded of the bleakness and black memories contained in much of the South Coast’s countryside. One look at Burra’s paintings should be a reminder, but then, whose got time to stand and look nowadays? A crime Damselfly valiantly tries to correct. Maybe if we thought of the Home Counties sounding like this music rather than Dame Vera Lynn or Sir Cliff or Keane, we’d all be a lot better off.