EL Heath tells us: “The album was made in my freezing cold studio on a shit old computer and a lot of red wine. It’s about how whenever I went outside the cut-off point of the day seemed to be 4pm, like I’d be in town then suddenly it was dark and I lost all my energy. I would have plans in the evening and not do anything because of this lack of energy. It’s also about how all the colours in the scenery are simply hidden by the quality of light we get in the winter. It’s not that it is not beautiful, but the colours are hidden by this quality of light and, well, generally the lack of such light.”
We say: a melancholic exploration of a long, dark cold winter spent in the isolated countryside – a countryside which takes on something of a malignant presence following its more positive influence on previous Heath releases. These tunes are recognisably the work of EL Heath, but are sparser than his previous releases – at times approaching an almost unbearable melancholy.
The sounds are often onomatopoeic: a martenot sweep like a cutting wind, pianos like a crisp frost. But as anyone reading the above would realise, it’s as much a psychological as it is seasonal (though the two are clearly inextricably linked). Concerto yearns, Arvo Pärt’s “light passing through glass” distilled. Electric Storm creeps with brooding darkness. Chords is a gorgeous sigh. Inertia’s unsettling absences are the perfect soundtrack to dark times.
It could be viewed, perhaps, as a wintry response to Virginia Astley’s ‘From Gardens Where We Feel Secure’ (an album Heath adores) and the original intention was for the album to be released in the middle of this winter. And though late, the very fact we’re able to release this album is something of a personal triumph for Heath: a perilous hard drive, lack of desire and feelings of wintry discontent at times conspiring to halt progress.
- 1. Concerto (4.09)
- 2. Fireflies (2.16)
- 3. A Cold Day In Spring (4.37)
- 4. Awake All Night (3.13)
- 5. Electric Storm (4.26)
- 6. When It Gets Dark Outside I Tend To Go And Play Inside (2.17)
- 7. Chords (1.49)
- 8. Inertia (2.44)
- 9. Non-Romantic Melancholic Waltz (3.51)