Part Timer – Reaching Ends

On Reaching Ends, Part Timer (John McCaffrey) presents listeners with a collection of nine reflective songs. Running in at just over half an hour, it’s perfect downtime music. The instrumentals contain post-rock signatures, but they lean towards the ambient spectrum. Hints of experimentation hide within, too, with paper-creased lullabies and the lightest addition of playful, bright-eyed electronics.

The guitar provides a selection of sleepy, late-afternoon melodies, which are permanently bright in tone. Nothing is out of place or overstays its welcome; everything has been trimmed to near-perfection, and it just feels right. Despite many of its songs coming in at a standard three minutes, there’s plenty of room for the music to expand, and they never feel dimmed in spite of the slim cut. Brevity allows the song to brightly shine. Each song is distinct, fully-fleshed, and mature, harbouring a unique personality while sharing a commonality in the kindness of its soul. McCaffrey is extremely talented when it comes to providing an accurate emotional picture and the state of the music’s current mood. His instrumentals are capable of saying more than vocal, lyric-based music.

The songs gleam and radiate with their own spirit-warmth in spite of (or because of) its compressed lifespan. The title track is a drop-dead gorgeous knockout. In this song, the stirring string arrangements feel slim, despite their many numbers. Notes drip from the strings of the guitar, too, and all of the pieces fall into place naturally. At just over two minutes, it says enough, does enough, and even goes beyond, saying more in the space of two minutes than many say in ten. The lengthier ‘Final Form’ is beautiful and tender, as young and as a fresh as an infant. In this song, the splayed piano is joined by a light percussion – barely a brush against the sides of its soft piano – and the whole track feels like precious cargo; it contains a moment that can never be captured again, but one that remains in the heart forever, never dying or seeing decay. The perfect mixture of piano and strings, while also adding a gently-smudged background of ambient air, sees the music through. It’s reassuring, soft, and, above all, a slice of kindness.

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