[sic] Magazine

St Kilda – EP

St Kilda is a new pseudonym for Edinburgh-based Graham Richardson, whose Last Days moniker has seen some glorious releases through n5MD. This new four-track, twenty minute EP is released through Phantom Channel, and is soon available on a limited edition 3” CD.

Opener ‘This Small Boat’ sets the tone for the EP as a whole: unmoored, sadly drifting drones are gently buffeted by more earthly tones. In this case the more earthly tones come from a piano and what sounds like someone scraping at barnacles on the side of a boat. ‘You Are In Every Dream’ follows in much the same feel, but minus the piano and field recording. It’s the most ambient of the pieces here, but more than justifies its run time through some lump-in-the-throat harmonic shifts akin to Stars Of The Lid.

‘Clutching At Straws’ introduces a glitchy snippet of guitar clang as a rhythmic element before a bassline slowly carries the music forward, decorated by a fizzy recording of a voice and distant guitar drone. All the sounds fall away aside from the guitar clang and drone, then more ominous atmospheres accumulate, the bassline adopting a slower yet more purposeful progression in an attempt to counterbalance the murk. And then the song ends, the guitar glitch left to fade to nothing. A deeply affecting five minutes.

Closing track ‘The Sirens’ pairs a gorgeous organ pattern with radio static. Higher registers bleed into the mix, then a hopeful glockenspiel line appears, like a tear of joy slowly trickling down the cheek. Heartbreaking and very beautiful. Short but sweet, this EP is another recommended release from the ever-excellent Phantom Channel.