Sunday, 15 April 2012
Cousin Silas – The Path Between the Trees
“The Path Between the Trees” is the first release on the net label We Are All Ghosts, and as such, may be considered to be indicative of the type of album to be expected on forthcoming releases. The mood throughout the album veers from the poignant delicacy of the piano lines dripping over mutant electronic sound landscapes of “In One Corner of the Sky (Jupiter Sings)” to the sublime guitar phrases, layered over tantalizing piano and electronic sighs of “Of Ancient Ways”, “Lost Images” and “Diversions”. But as the listener has been led through this landscape, and has allowed the feelings of delight to envelop them, “Beneath the Foundation” takes them to an all together darker place, a place that is almost industrial in nature and unsettling on the ear. The title track “The Path Between the Trees” then somehow manages to coax the willing listener away from this dystopia, and back to a relative haven of achingly poised, but leisurely shifting drones. As a way of confirming the wellbeing of the listener, “Rediscovered” begins to incorporate many of those now familiar elements, and draws them together with a lilting rhythm and plaintive guitar. The mood then alters abruptly as the listener is reminded of their previous encounter with their darker side on “Strange Qualities”. Otherworldly electronics groan, and suggest anxiety and apprehension. The very title of the composition “The Sealing of the Pothole” evokes a brooding, nefarious activity, which is best left to the imagination and the disquieting soundtrack. The journey ends with “Lowland” which, following the many changes in mood throughout “The Path Between the Trees” manages to provide hope and sympathy through its tenderly repeating guitar and piano setting over which mournful guitars howl. During our passage through the album we have encountered many changes in mood, warmth and texture, but there is no sense that these changes have been contrived, and indeed, the journey seems as pure as one may encounter on a personal level. The artwork on this release manages to capture the sense of poignancy, yet with an underlying unease, as the organic image of a tree lined lane is displayed at an angle that is ill at ease, and colours are synthetically enhanced. As an inaugural release, We Are All Ghosts should be rightly proud of this release, as it encompasses all that it is possible to achieve from a private musical passage.