Lightning In A Twilight Hour is the new project led by Bobby Wratten, formerly of Field Mice and Trembling Blue Stars. Fragments Of A Former Moon is the full-length follow up to the mini album, Slow Changes, which served as an introduction to Wratten's new material. Fans of Trembling Blue Stars will love this, it shows that Wratten is a songwriter of the highest order.
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Back in February our anorak-clad Clinton went all fan-boy over Field Mice’s Bobby Wratten’s new project Lightning In A Twilight Hour, reviewing the EP ‘Slow Changes’ and giving it a hasty but well deserved 9/10. Proclaiming it the “feel good indie-pop story of 2015”, he certainly wasn’t wrong there - and LIATH continue in the same hazy, melodic vein on the band’s debut LP ‘Fragments of a Former Moon’.
Joined by the equally imperative Beth Arzy (Trembling Blue Stars/Aberdeen) and Anne-Mari Davies on vocal contributions -- alongside Field Mice bassist Michael Hiscock - - Lightning In a Twilight Hour could be described as a super group of sorts – though it feels like they never really parted company, and those early snippets of wistful genius occasionally appear.
Despite a presence that was noticeably absent in the four years of not making any new music, Wratten – still typically shy but never idle – has been busy working on new ventures ever since the glory days of Sarah Records: alongside the indelibly influential Field Mice are projects like Northern Picture Library and of course Trembling Blue Stars, all of which render a similar, familiarly romantic and contemplative quality. Facets of The Field Mice’s tendency to dabble in electronic experiments are subtly present here: though not quite in the charmingly cheap bedroom-recorded sense of early Field Mice records, but the collision of primitive electronics and euphonic guitar lines on opener ‘The Memory Museum’, for example, is similarly strange and beguiling.
Beth’s contributions to the LP are equally vital: her soft refrain on ‘The Pattern Room’ and 'Night Traveller' add introspective warmth, while her scattering of field recordings on songs like ‘Taking The Figure Out Of The Landscape’ are uniquely beautiful. Lyrically, Bobby Wratten’s grievances still ring true – though a little more surreal and optimistic this time around -- his voice containing the same regret and fragility of past ventures.
More languid and experimental, but still defiantly, naturally pop in its melodies and compositions – ‘Fragments Of A former Moon’ is a gorgeous, inventive and spellbinding record. More of this please.
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