[sic] Magazine

First Glances – Just Everywhere

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What do you do when your creativity is bubbling, but your output doesn’t really fit with your day job? Why, do as many a frontman before you has done and launch a solo project! Cue former First Glances stars I See Angels singer Paul Baird and his debut, the Silk Of Stars LP, to be released soon under the name Just Everywhere on Ramber Records. A compilation of varied EPs from last year and earlier this year, as well as a bunch of new material, Baird’s swooning vocal is instantly recognisable across them all, tying the album together by carrying the melody while his music heads off more experimentally.

With the most enigmatic of track titles this side of a Sufjan Stevens record, Silk Of Stars jumbles digitally corrupted dream-pop with the aching hum of ambience and heavy guitar scree. Strewn liberally into the mix come several piano-led bouts of songwriting, reverbed vocal loops and fragile harmonies surging alongside pretty instrumentals, samples and captures that all help push Silk Of Stars out to left-field. An aggressive acid eats away at the running order throughout, threatening its very existence in places. The tracks play urgently as a result, totemic slabs of lo-fi shoegaze noise periodically running riot with distortion pedals and protesting guitar squeal.

Baird’s blend of traditional songcraft and hushed acoustics help a track like “It Looks Like Up To Me”, a song about being down that’s caught by the wind and blown over lonely countryside, develop into something resembling a lost A Grave With No Name demo. Built on a heartbeat sample as heard from within the womb, “Empty Hospital Wards”, however, has a much more reflective mood, inspired perhaps by Baird’s recent firstborn, particularly given its title. A sense of pervading reverence even comes to a head during the serious closer, ecclesiastical chant displaying none of the tenderness of earlier as the album fades on out in intangible drift. These are songs that go everywhere and swell to be everywhere. Stumble into their mists and you may not find your way out.

~Silk Of Stars is released digitally and on cassette via Ramber Records May 5th 2017.~

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