“Sun in the Dark”
words by tom johnson
There’s a song called ‘Shadows’ by Au Revoir Simone, on the band’s 2009 Still Night, Still Light LP, that moved me so immediately it took an ever-present place within my own soundtrack in the years since its release. A four-minute pop gem, it’s a beautiful song that strikes that perfect balance between the weighty sentiments that guide it and the glowing instrumental backdrop that holds the whole things so perfectly together.
Though the band haven’t released an album since 2013’s Move In Spectrums, each of the three members have remained musically after and it’s Annie Hart who begins another new chapter today with the news that her new piece a work – a sprawling four-song instrumental album – will be released next month via her new home of Orindal Records (Gia Margaret, Julie Byrne, Advance Base) and is preceded today with the sharing here of brand new song “Sun in the Dark”.
Titled Everything Pale Blue, the new album will be released on May 7th and is the first collection of instrumental music from the composer and keyboardist; a concept that began at an artists residency near Oneonta, New York, which Hart visited last year. “At first I was a bit bored by the same scenery every day in such a gloomy, wet, gray season, but after a while I started seeing the minute daily changes in the nature around me,” Annie says of her time there. “Every day I went on walks through fallow fields spiked with mown straw, sometimes wet with mud, sometimes caked with snow, and on some magical days, encased in crystalline ice. I started seeing the trees around the farm as individuals, with their own personalities. I saw the leaves change on the ground from yellow and brown, to dry brown blowing ones, to wet, dark brown precursors to soil that would then nurture the same trees they came from.”
As such sentiments allude to, the new album is both meandering and meditative, with Hart crafting a whole new world of her own through the gently lapping synthesizer explorations that absorb the listener. It’s prefaced by “Sun in the Dark”, which you can hear below right now; a song that beautifully encapsulates the otherworldly magic of this new body of work. A twinkling tapestry of sound, the song rolls on for nearly ten minutes, barely fluctuating but utterly engrossing nonetheless. Like lying under a perfect summer’s sky, the occasional shifts in tone are minimal but feel striking within their context here.
“It was incredible to see the shift in my mentality over the time at the farm,” Annie says upon reflection. “To go from gripping and holding to just playing; allowing myself the freedom to create without guilt or responsibility, to see the shifts in my abilities as a composer and musician. It was absolutely magical and I consider that month an incredibly formative one that I am so lucky to have been able to attend and appreciate.”
You can discover the full album next month – and preorders are available via Orindal’s store from today – but for now, we highly recommend finding a quiet corner and getting lost in the gentle splendour of “Sun in the Dark”. Check it out below.
A Music Journal ~ Issue 8
Our Curious Printed Magazine
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