[sic] Magazine

2018 Artists Picks – Twilight Fields

[sic] asked some of our favourite artists for their album picks of 2018. The results, as always, were sporadic and wonderful.

We hope that you enjoy this series of feature articles. You will find the lists and thoughts of the artists below as well as a sprinkling of videos from their selections.

Find out more via the link provided.

Twilight Fields

Like my own discography, my tastes are kind of eclectic. I grew up listening to folk music, later got into psych and progressive rock, graduated to post-rock, classical, ambient and all that stuff. And of course like a lot of people I listen to jazz, classical, etc. It all gets mixed into my own sound. My upcoming Twilight Fields release, “Songs From the Age of Ruin,” (https://twilightfields.bandcamp.com/album/songs-from-the-age-of-ruin) basically puts all those influences in a blender, which some people will like, some not, but earlier Twilight Fields releases definitely had a lot of that ethereal post-rock feel, and I listen to a lot of that kind of music, as well as ambient and early music.

This year alone I released an album of post-rock, “Nothing Is Missing,” under my instrumental project name, The Gateless Gate (https://thegatelessgate.bandcamp.com/album/nothing-is-missing), that I felt was easily my best effort so far, and 2018’s Twilight Fields effort was “Our Time Is Now,” (https://twilightfields.bandcamp.com/album/our-time-is-now) an album-length tribute to unconditional love. It was a good year, and I feel fulfilled. “Songs From the Age of Ruin” is a more challenging release, and I look forward to getting a reaction to a big collection of passionate songs on issues like climate change and animal and human rights.

There were a number of albums this year I felt were quiet, under-the-radar classics by artists who don’t get a ton of hype because their genre might not be super cool at this time, or they’re not young, or too esoteric, or any number of other reasons. But each of these albums is a gem.

Lunatic Soul – Under the Fragmented Sky

This is the solo project of the singer of a Polish progressive band, Riverside, but I actually like Lunatic Soul a lot better. He makes a textured mix of electronica and Krautrock with dark ambient and hints of European folk melodies. Also a really great singer.

Hammock – Universalis

The kings of modern dreamy rock have mostly dropped their earlier dream pop stylings for a blend of ambient post-rock and modern classical, with strings featured heavily along with ethereal guitars. This is a touch cheerier than their last album, but basically every one of their releases is completely beautiful, whether happy or sad.

Diane Marie Kloba – Deep Heart

I am not normally drawn to sparse, dryly produced, quirky, almost 90s-style indie music and abstract lyrics, but Kloba does this sort of thing better than anyone I’ve heard…her voice is a meandering coo, her lyrics are beguiling. She’s a buried American musical treasure that deserves to be unearthed, because you don’t come across a true original very often.

Altus – Pioneer

Speaking of buried treasure, this ambient artist is from Ottawa, Canada, and makes a couple of albums a year. If Tycho can be famous, why not this guy? This is one of his less ambient releases, a space journey that sounds like a jam between classic Tangerine Dream and classic Vangelis (Blade Runner Vangelis!). It’s incredibly beautiful; some of the melodies could make ya weep.

Helios – Veritidas

Helios (Keith Kenniff) used to make winsome instrumentals with boxy-sounding beats…you drifted off to space while tapping your toes. However, he’s lately going in for dropping the beats and focusing on textures, which is not dissimilar to Hammock’s style, but with his own mood, which is usually a sort of yearning. I dig it. I buy all his stuff.

Gazpacho – Soyuz

Gazpacho is a veteran Norwegian atmospheric progressive group. Their albums are all concept albums, though the theme is looser this time (a series of interconnected tales). But the arrangements are notably beautiful and spacious, as always. Intellectual rock for grownups.

Steve Reich – Pulse/Quartet

Without the influence of composer Steve Reich, there’d be no modern instrumental music of the kind many of us enjoy. I took in some of his pieces in concert a couple of years ago, and it blew my mind — not just the complexity but the feeling of elation his music gives you. This is a welcome addition with two pieces in his hypnotic style.

Richard Thompson – 13 Rivers

Folk-rock legend Thompson has been a favourite of mine since I was a teenager, witty, dark, topical, and everyone knows of his guitar wizardry. I don’t like all of his albums, but this is a return to form, with many moody, cynical lyrics and less of the quirk and whimsy that sometimes mar his later work.

The Levellers – We the Collective

The Levellers’ political activist folk rock was also a great inspiration to me as a young kid. This is an acoustic, grown-up re-recording of many of their best-known songs. But it’s not just guys hammering away on acoustic guitars; the arrangements are well thought out, bringing out more of the poignancy in the lyrics. It was more than nostalgia for me to listen to this.

Steve Kilbey – Sydney Rococo

When I was young, Kilbey was my god. I wanted to be him when I grew up. The Church frontman has impressively released his best solo album to date, this very year. It recalls the jangle rock of the band’s early albums, very clean sound, beautifully produced and recorded, very emotional songs. A mature work by a genius who deserves far more exposure than he has received. Bowie, shmoey! No one should miss this.

Twilight Fields – Bandcamp

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