Originally only available as a CD via Facture Records, this moving LP from Euan Alexander Millar-McMeeken aka glacis has been put to wax off the back of a Kickstarter campaign. Conceived as a tribute to the artist’s father who passed away in 2011, Hamilton works alongside friend Ed Hamilton to create these mournful pieces. Millar-McMeeken’s piano is augmented by grainy ambiences and spectral plumes of reverb to create something reminiscent of Ryuichi Sakamoto, or a more private take on the glacial post-rock of Explosions In The Sky.
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Whomst wants their gut punched? Gracis have you covered. This brave and heart-wrenching record was written by Euan Alexander Millar-McMeeken at the end of his father’s long-standing battle with emphysema; he was helped on his way to creating these devastating and delicate pieces by Ed Hamilton, the two working around melodic piano motifs with glacial ambience, looped refrains and patient stringwork. It’s a record that both describes the turmoil of losing a loved one and honours their life in permanence.
It’s utterly beautiful. The chords are played with the expected heaviness, while drones both crystalline and windswept play through the record in the vein of A Winged Victory for the Sullen. Percussion appears, in places, with the soft, empathetic touch of a Dirty Three record, brushing its way past the arrangements of “A Prayer From the Heart Not the Lips” as if to give the song something trustworthy to lean back on. With string arrangements from Christoph Berg, these arrangements really shine, becoming sort of communally compassionate mournings that give the isolated, lonely sounds something to relate to.
It sounds like it was an incredibly hard record to make -- describing grief through music is an impossibly hard thing, and this record’s traditionally neo-classical sound is extremely tragic, a sadness that can be conferred onto any listener. Millar-McKeeken is a fantastic composer, and he’s here shared an intensely personal moment in his craft.
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