On this short outing, Caught in the Wake Forever (aka Fraser McGowan) guides his listeners through ethereal post-rock spaces and edge-of-ambient washes lightly coated in melancholy. This is rich electro-acoustic work, with slowly picked guitar lines and delicate piano melodies, also played with thoughtful deliberation and a potent dose of emotion. Listen to “A Morning Without Decay,” where the piano speaks softly over a perfectly understated stream of electronic washes. “At Least You Had My Cigarettes” takes something of the reverse approach; McGowan lays down a twist of electronic sound first, then lightly layers in meandering guitar. It’s got a still-awake-just-before-dawn feel about it. “Castle Semple Loch” is the fullest song here in terms of instrumentation, opening with a dulcimer-like sound that keeps pace throughout the piece, then adding bass and acoustic guitar. There’s a nice dreaminess to it, and just a hint of New Age-style romance. McGowan steps over into beatless territory with the wavering tones of “Black Nectar,” a piece that grabs a slightly rhythmic element from its own oscillation. Near-static noises burbles quietly beneath. It works very well and makes an interesting break in the flow.
False Haven eases through its 28 minutes without a bump. The blend of interesting electronics and heartfelt melodies plays out nicely. It’s a pleasure to listen to, and absolutely demands repeat plays. Find it and enjoy.
Available from Sound in Silence.