The Declining Winter

Home For Lost Souls

Punching through the bleak winter, the crisp and clear electric guitars come to pave the way for (hopefully) warmer days. ‘This Sadness Lacks’, with its softly spoken, introverted vocals and its speedy yet unhurried drumming lets us know in no uncertain terms that winter is on the decline. The Declining Winter sets in motion a constantly revolving orbit that leads out of the darkness and into the light. Richard Adams carefully constructs his music, and it’s most assuredly easy listening. Home For Lost Souls is his second album for Home Assembly Music, and, like a cozy planet nestled close to a white-hot sun, everything spins around the guitar and its melodies, taking light, life and solace through its blazing notes.

The shimmer of the reverb, and the open yet dazed sound of the vocals swirl around in safe circles, together locked in a tight embrace. The vocals are wise and mature – they’ve lived a long life and it’s taught them a lot of valuable lessons – and the lyrics gradually become more introspective. They silence themselves from time to time; the music’s peppered with a couple of instrumentals. In fact, ‘When Things Mattered’ cools the mood considerably. A little slice of the guitar and her floating melodies, plucked lightly on a string or two, settles things down. ‘Fog Forming’ carries just a hint of a vocal, and it’s seemingly lost in its own cloudy swirl of reverb. The light sound of the guitar is incredibly bright. The bubbly, faster chord progressions and the lyric-focused vocals seem intent on placing the music somewhere close to the genre of folk-pop, but a sky high fence separates the two genres. Intricate melodies flutter around in the still, temperate air. Like a stunningly blue flash of electricity, the excitement fizzles in the air; spring is coming. Dissonant notes hover around the music, occasionally touching down beside the splayed chords that sweetly sustain, but they never stay for long.

Later on, ‘A Field Defunct’ turns things slightly funky, and it becomes harder to pin-point a genre at all. But who needs them? Music is music. Electro-shocked synths dart around and thus the record changes again. ‘The Right True End’ breezes past with its cooler chords, and the piano progression hints at some kind of underlying melancholy. It never hangs around for long, though. As the spring light comes to take winter away – the now declining winter – the birds begin to sing and the trees start to bloom with apple and cherry blossom. And the music’s in perfect sync with the unfurling of the petals.

www.homeassemblymusic.com

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