The brilliant light of a low lying sun diffuses under a field of gleaming cirrus clouds on the cover of “Sol”, a new 5-track album resulting from a collaboration between Oathless (Simon Housley) and Good Weather For An Airstrike (Tom Honey). The artwork, created by photographer Lauren Honey, makes a perfect cover for the album as the same adjectives come to mind in describing the music it contains – vivid, luminous, and mesmerizing.
The new EP comes right on the heels of very strong solo outings from both artists and they go from strength to strength here, creating a rich tapestry of sounds by potently blending elements of chilled electronica, dreamy ambient, field recordings, samples, and the clear & resonant vocals of singer Jamie Brett.
The opening track, ‘Omerta’ begins with an ambient atmosphere that sounds as if it could easily be the beginning of a GWFAA track until the beat asserts itself underneath and the vocals float on top and the full range of this artistic collaboration is on display. The next track, ‘Your Childhood Races Toward You’, takes a melancholic turn with ebbing minor-key synths and looped guitar before being lifted by a gentle beat and ethereal vocals. A lovely melodic surprise awaits in the next track, ‘Fragment’, a plaintive tune primarily featuring acoustic guitar and piano woven around field recordings and voice samples. Then, a sense of tension and gravitas is introduced with ‘What Are You Doing, Lyla?’, which builds up a soft drone into a swirling and buzzing crescendo. The album then reprises the mood of the opener with ‘Through the Iris’ and its lush ambiance, gentle propulsive beat, and layers of beautiful vocals.
Although it contains only 5 tracks, this feels like a very full album thanks to the energy of the creative partnership and the varied approach to each track which makes the EP feel like much more than the sum of its parts. “Sol” is highly recommended and hopefully will be the first of many more collaborations between Simon and Tom. Well done.