Album review: Adrift by Steve Gibbs

Adrift by Steve Gibbs

Adrift is the debut solo album from UK based composer & musician Steve Gibbs due out on August 1. It follows the release of the collaborative EP In Passing with Cyrus Reynolds in 2013, which was warmly received for its elegant and affecting fusion of modern classical and ambient and subtle electronic elements.  With Adrift, Gibbs takes us further down that path as he serves up 7 tracks that feature dampened piano and strings draped in translucent layers of electronica, some of which have been composed as scores for short films and and other special projects.

The title track and ‘Patterns’ remind me the most of the work with Reynolds in In Passing, both bringing the electronic layer more to the foreground to weave a gauzy web through which the piano and strings traverse.  The overall tone is wistful and introspective, but there is warmth and light as well, particularly in ‘Bokeh’ which features a warm acoustic guitar and bright melodic conclusion.

Among the tracks already featured in other projects are ‘Råklipp’, a lovely solo piano piece which is featured in short film of the same title by Norwegian filmmaker Håvard Fandrem, and the evocative ‘Contention’, which was used in a film about the shooting of ‘The Cabinets of Curiosity’ from the Frozen Tale series by fine art photographer Alexia Sinclair.  The album concludes on a reflective note with the pensive ‘Low Light’ and ‘Evoke’, an especially moving track with its resonant swells of plaintive strings.

Adrift is a lovely gem of a record, beautiful enough to hook you on the first listen, but sophisticated and understated enough to make you want to keep it in heavy rotation.

Ordering (avail Aug 1, 2014):

A Frozen Tale – music by Steve Gibbs, photography by Alexia Sinclair 

A Frozen Tale from Sinclair & Hill on Vimeo.

‘Adrift’ by Steve Gibbs

Special note: If you liked In Passing and Adrift, you will almost certainly enjoy Steve’s “harmonic mixes” which can be streamed from his Soundcloud page: