Nadine Byrne’s latest, “Dreaming Remembering”, is a fascinating pandemonium. Documentation never glances, constriction never gave us torture. In a way, the prim and proper spared merit of Nadine’s curatorial style – short sharp and sweet – is its artistic license to interpret dreams. Like the Antonymes title of that nomenclature, there is much dolallying over thoughtful composition here: solid music, melodic integrity, interlocking parts, highly metatarsal movement from the ankles up.
Feet or feat? Toe in the water or honeyed experiment? It’s the latter, a fortunate answer surely for fans of this label. The lineal direction of the album is to walk a tightrope of strapping synthesiser pads, an atonal sense of harmony and the most sparing use of vocal, that it literally sounds dragged out the other sides of a desert plain. These lyrics, mostly motifs of the titles themselves, deploy a willing, questioning gravitas to the whole operation, as one starts to ponder the gap between dreaming and remembering. Is it just a magical flummox? Something that doesn’t make descriptive sense like that comment. Or is dreaming, and remembering, for that matter, further embalmed into the regeneration of the life/death/life cycle than we thought?
Whatever, this is a puzzling dichotomy as musical artefact. Nadine Byrne uses her synthesisers and the placation of musical theatre – a Freudian slip here, an announcement there – to woo her audience in wondrous tapestry, befitting for a time where, in post-apocalyptic trauma exercises of possible third world war over Brexit, is all the more welcome. I enjoy how measured the metres are between each 16-bar phrase, and how metre is often forgotten altogether in favour of random selection. The noises are totally anti-predication, unpredictable, like stepping around an accident waiting to happen put to sound. The only criticism a human could levy here is that there is no glorious mess at the end of the experiment – Highly recommended!