Kirk Barley – Marionette – Odda Recordings

Contrast always feels like the best of intentions. Especially given so many things are almost exactly the same. The same arrangements of landscapes of endless familiarity for you to lose your sad reflections in. Or the same sounds inevitably sounding all the same. However, Kirk Barley turns it all upside down in due course by celebrating as well as provoking the weird and creatively wonderful into a lifetime of the possible. These chiming, repeating waves of sound do many things, one of them is joy. Another is questioning the nature of what to expect. Either way this collection of proud ideas provides a most enjoyable journey through exciting, if uneven terrain, which you will want to return to one way or another.

The music feeds on a timeless English quality here and there like it is bonded to folk, not in an obvious, pastoral way but with a contemporary twist as layers underpin others by way of divergence. Which is welcome. Speaking of which is the oddly magical composition, Marionette with its crackling, unsettled repose as music box motifs cast long shadows into recall. Proceeded by the wonderful Lake Of Gold which again supplants the nature of opposites via an uplifting lilt. On a darker note is the brilliant Gate, opening the gift shop door unto the final moments of this curious, compelling, quietly thrilling set of music. A holiday for the mind.

Release: November 24 buy

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