Album Review: Loscil | Sea Island

Canadian artist Loscil‘s latest album is an immersive experience, one designed to absorb as a whole. The constituent parts are great washes of electronica, with occasional vibraphone, piano, violin and even a stray vocal here and there. The static drift of opening track Ahull pulls you in but it’s the tracks that follow which keep you there. In Threes’ keyboards create a fabulously wintry soundscape, while the creepy Bleeding Ink and the grim, vaguely threatening Sea Island Murders set the dial to bleak, the latter almost dipping into the territory mined by Andrew Eldritch’s long-forgotten The Sisterhood project.

The tracks are lengthy, taking their time to unfurl. Iona waits four and a half minutes before revealing a gently pulsing beat, while Holding Pattern blossoms into bed of Boards of Canada style keyboard ecstasy. Gradually, on repeat listens, you start noticing the little things, the agonized vocal on Bleeding Ink, the twinkling keyboards on Sturgeon Bank, and downcast piano on En Masse. That’s when you know the album has really taken hold.

But it’s a fool’s pursuit trying to describe the overall ‘feeling’ evoked by this album, probably as strong an ‘ambient’ album as you’ll come across in 2014.

Killian Laher

Track List:

1. Ahull
2. In Threes
3. Bleeding Ink
4. Sea Island Murders
5. Iona
6. Holding Pattern
7. Catalina 1943
8. Angle of Loll
9. Sturgeon Bank
10. En Masse
11. Angle of List

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