Originally released back in 1997, Hydroplane’s eponymous – and only – debut album has just been reissued by Melbourne-based Efficient Space. If like me you were completely unaware of its existence until now, it’s really worth giving it a listen: its DIY production aesthetic coupled with singer Kerrie Bolton’s hushed vocal results in a dreamlike atmosphere akin to Liz Harris’s work as Grouper, albeit with less existential angst. Opening track Wurlitzer Jukebox should be enough to convince you it’s a worthy investment of your time.
I’ve listened to Days Like These maybe a dozen times now, and I’m still not even sure if I like the first half of it. Alan Sparhawk’s vocal is more prominent than perhaps ever before, accompanied by Mimi Parker’s harmonies and very little else and it’s almost wilfully OTT and (whisper it) a bit cheesy? Maybe that’s the point, and there’s a good chance that later this year after sitting with it for longer and reading more into the meaning behind it I’ll realise just how wrong I am, but that’s where I am right now. What isn’t in doubt however, is the second half, which is one of the best things they’ve ever made.
Produced again by BJ Burton who worked with them on 2018’s incredible Double Negative, it descends into warped static, freewheeling, ethereal harmonies and an atmosphere so thick with longing it takes a good few minutes to pull yourself out of it. It’s also the lead single from their forthcoming new LP Hey What, out 10 September on Sub Pop. Bring on the heartache.
The ambient duo’s Adam Wiltzie talks about Talk Talk’s genre-defining masterpiece Spirit of Eden
The premise of One Track Mind is pretty simple: I ask artists to pick one track that means a lot to them – either something they’ve discovered recently, something that’s been with them for years, or one that reminds them of a specific time in their life or career – and tell me what makes it so special to them. I get to talk to the artists I love, and they get to talk about the artists they love. Love all round!
Today we welcome A Winged Victory for the Sullen’s Adam Wiltzie. An ambient music duo composed of Wiltzie alongside Dustin O’Halloran, A Winged Victory for the Sullen are set to release their fourth studio album Invisible Cities later this month. Before forming the group, Wiltzie was involved with various ambient projects including The Dead Texan (with Christina Vantzou) and Stars of the Lid (with Brian McBride), and has been responsible for what I would confidently say are some of the most beautiful, powerful and important albums ever made, in any genre. So to say I’m very happy to have him on TPW is a bit of an understatement.
Here, Adam talks about the first time he heard Talk Talk’s post-rock masterpiece Spirit of Eden, and the lasting impact it had on him, and how it influenced his own work.
This sounds as if it’s been lifted straight from a Zero 7 / Air collaborative album circa 2001 that never saw the light of day, and I am fully on board with it. If you like floaty vocals and meandering percussion over a fuzzy background of synths, you’re in luck! Taken from their new album The Main Thing which I’m yet to listen to as I’ve had this on loop for about half an hour. And I’m even posting it on a Friday: how’s that for synergy?