After two full-length albums and a trio of EPs under the moniker of Row Boat, musician/composer Mark Wardale is about to release his first work under his own name. There is an amusing bit of self-deprecating cheek when he cites irreconcilable differences with himself in reference to the change, but when it comes to creating imaginative, ear-catching music that spans multiple genres, Wardale is as serious as ever.
To listen to ‘Close‘ is to enter a world where neoclassical, ambient, and post-rock elements are intertwined, infused with Scandinavian character, and ornamented with eclectic sonic flourishes. While the same could be said of the music of Row Boat, the new record marks a noticeable shift toward modern classical elements and cinematic flair as the ambient & post-rock atmospherics are employed much more sparingly. In addition, Wardale demonstrates his growing compositional prowess by weaving a cohesive tale in which the narrative of each track supports a greater one that flows through the entire album.
To get a taste of ‘Close‘, you can listen to the penultimate track entitled “Þægindi” (Icelandic for ‘comfort’) which sets up the lush, idlyllic “Sails” that concludes the album like a longboat drifting toward an infinite horizon. It marks a peaceful end to a truly transportive saga, Wardale’s own Icelandic epic as told by piano, strings, horns, and voice.
‘Close’ will be available November 9 from Bottle Imp Productions.