[sic] Magazine

Winterlight – Hope Dies Last

Tim Ingham’s (first?) full length as Winterlight injects some much-needed warmth into the electronica world. Crushing sadness and icy impassion can be wonderfully moving but there’s room for something else. And Ingham delivers a sparkling, spinning and grinning piece of work that simply cannot fail to delight. Hope Dies Last is a cuddly toy of a record, a veritable hug in a bubble. It could go ‘pop’ at any moment but before that let’s just enjoy the sunlight reflecting off its surface tension while it lasts – a simple, child-like pleasure masking a fragile complexity.

Hope Dies Last is a joy to listen to from start to finish. The album opens with ‘Sky Full Of Clouds’, a swelling piece that recalls labelmates Lights Out Asia . I soon get the impression that Tim Ingham is every bit the connoisseur of indietronica (and its forerunners) as myself. Influenced by legends such as Cocteau Twins and Slowdive , ‘his’ wings make him fly pretty close to the likes of Ulrich Schnauss . (‘Your Wings Make You Fly’) Portal offer another reference point as does Manual . Yet here there is a striking contrast to be drawn. Manuals best work ( Azure Vista ) is rapture but it is also overlong and lacking in variety. When he tried to diverge a bit, on Drowned In Light , it didn’t quite come off. Thankfully Hope Dies Last is wonderfully diverse yet it stays engaging throughout.

Winterlight may not grab everybody by the dangly things. Coolness and cynicism may well be insurmountable hurdles for some. (Thier own, not Tims!) But for the warmer hearted of us, this record is impossible to dislike and rather easy to love. For me, it moves effortlessly past previous Maps effort, Turning The Mind . Laptop lullabies these may be, but don’t we need soothing just as much in these modern times as we ever did? Maybe more so.