Penny Black Music [Es]: "Fragments of a Former Moon" [Review]
'Fragments of a Former Moon' is the debut full album release of Lightning in a Twilight Hour, the new band of Trembling Blue Stars and the Field Mice's Bobby Wratten. It follows on from '10 Slow Changes', their 10" debut vinyl-only mini-album of earlier this year, which, like this album, also appears in a grey sleeve with minimal art work.
Bobby Wratten has always done what he does very well, and this is his rebirth into the world of music after a four year absence. He is very shy and it seems unlikely that he will ever return to the stage, but, with two new releases in a few months, it looks like he has got a new leash of life.
'Fragments of a Former Moon' finds him playing to all his strengths. 'The Memory Museum', opens it in gentle fashion with a warm vocal that rocks slowly. As it speeds, up, it becomes more complex recalling New Order.
‘The Pattern Room’ features a vocal from Bobby’s Trembling Blue Stars’ band mate and girlfriend, Beth Arzy, and is much more dance-oriented. ‘The Passerby’ is, light and airy, while the guitar that graces it is some of the most beautiful that I have ever heard.
‘Fever Dreams of Emilia’ is a creepy, mood-based atmospheric piece. ‘The Absentee’ is lighter and again minimal, featuring soft guitar, a softly shaken tambourine and a vocal from Bobby that rocks at you as if it were fragile glass.
‘Taking the Figure Out of the Landscape’, is a floating cinematic instrumental, while ‘Unanswered’ is pretty much pop perfection, featuring a vocal as rich as warm honey and a gorgeous, gently rocking beat.
‘I Dreamt Music’ is music to look out of windows and dream too. ‘Night Traveller’ is a hypnotic number, featuring an Indian style chant and, a very clever piece, is like a soft shoegaze number but without that genre’s energy or force. ‘Starfields’ is a loner, like a last soldier left on the battlefield looking for fellow survivors.
‘Fragments of a Former Moon’ is a gorgeous record which, full of ideas, is perfectly arranged and consistently inventive
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