Light Through Open Blinds is the sixth album in Lost Tribe Sound’s ‘Fell To Shadow’ series. With this album, Lincolnshire’s Spheruleus (Harry Towell) has created a sonic diary, detailing the sounds of a new environment – a new house – after he and his wife became home owners in September 2016.
The sounds are made up from household articles, chance occurrences, acoustic instruments, and vinyl samples. Track names are also infused with a sense of place, drawing influence from objects, local street names, and rooms. Mainly using an old out-of-tune piano, which lives in The White Horse (the local village pub), and a thirty-year-old guitar handed down to him by his father, Light Through Open Blinds has a genuine warmth and an affection that can’t be forged or replicated. One has to go through the experience in order to evoke music such as this. Towell’s constructions never seem to overpopulate or overcrowd things (throughout the course of the album, one will find zither, violin, harmonica, glockenspiel, bugle, and bongo drums). These sounds create a gentle rainbow, a light through open blinds, but manifesting in the colours of downtempo, ambient, lo-fi, and jazz.
Thanks to its patchwork collection of lo-fi sounds and everyday objects, it’s a more accessible album, and perhaps the most accessible piece of music Spheruleus has ever created. In his home, anything can be music, and using these objects in a musical way not only increases the originality of the record but the personal nature of the album, too. Because every home will have the resident’s fingerprints on it, absorbing their personality. Everything in the music has been lovingly arranged. Despite the assortment of sounds, nothing feels out of place or dissonant. They only add to the comfort.
Spheruleus weaves a homespun magic here. Splayed-out guitar chords mingle with random sounds and makeshift beats. Acoustic melodies form a loose kind of experimental folk, but there’s some kind of disoriented structure inside the music, too. It gets to where it’s going, but it rarely, if ever, walks a straight line. The record feels cosy and incredibly warm, and that’s thanks to the field recordings as well. Home is where the heart is, and Towell’s heart lies here.