EP: Silk Cut shapes a gorgeous, shimmering cloth in debut EP ‘astronaut’, with tracks that sparkle like stars in the firmament


The Breakdown

'astronaut', as its name implies, is a spaced out exploration into a mystical realm: replete with a floating, ethereal tone as a central thread and a psychedelic other-worldly thrum. Silk Cut have spun out something that is quite a sparkling jewel in the firmament.
Independent 8.8

Silk Cut is a magical Auckland dream pop/shoegaze band that has just released their debut EP ‘astronaut’, and while the band is a brand new piece of clothing, it is formed from vintage material.

Singer/guitarist Andrew Thorne has played with Modern Chair – a collaboration between him and another veteran of the NZ music scene, Wayne Bell. (see review of EP ‘Can’t Look Back’ here). He returned with  a solo self-titled EP under the moniker of Stingy Brim, with a touch more guitar, a little less electronica and a comforting layer of Beatlesque harmonies (see interview and review here).

 Silk Cut is a new collaboration between Thorne and Aidan Phillips (basses, voice), with Mike Burrows (drums, voice) and Tom Irvine (guitars, voice). 

Thorne describes the formation of Silk Cut as a natural evolution of taste:

Drawing on (an) affection for 60’s and 70’s British TV and early 90’s shoegaze, (we) are at once eccentric and perfectly normal. (Our) themes are arbitrary, as if having volunteered ourselves – UFOs, shipwrecks, betrayal, obsession, comic book detectives, apparitions. Recorded with a load of reverb and harmony, we present like echo-chamber daydreams. Silk Cut are either a fresh start or a continuation, depending on how you look at it …

Opening track ‘Getting in Close’ has reverberated, chorused, delayed guitars set out a crystalline razor-sharp edge with a beautifully melancholic refrain against a star-studded firmament. Thorne’s voice is cool and studied, slightly distanced while the pace ebbs and flows with a delicious liquidity. This is a gorgeous, celestial tune – filled with a yearning euphoria and Thorne’s unerring ability to craft indelible melodies.

‘Dream King’ has a dreamy, psychedelic aquatic flow with Thorne’s voice and the jangling guitars redolent of Steve Kilbey’s work with The Church and Martin Kennedy. The deep tenor rumbles with enigmatic mysterious lyrics over the flanged, glittering guitars and ominous wandering bass, while harmonies burnish the vocals with a celestial chorus.

‘Black Night Sky’ injects a wailing, weeping synth over the syncopated rhythms and arpeggiated guitar. Again, a mystical air pervades the track: a dreamy landscape filled with layers of sounds and a guitar solo that punctures the reverie.

Closing track, ‘Undone’ has a melodic bass as its central spine and a wall of distant strings and jangling guitars. The vocals are distant voices, layered and melancholic, the double-tracked dual solo like something from a prog rock band from the seventies.

‘astronaut’, as its name implies, is a spaced out exploration into a mystical realm: replete with a floating, ethereal tone as a central thread and a psychedelic other-worldly thrum. Silk Cut have spun out something that is quite a sparkling jewel in the firmament.

Available through all the usual download sites, but best acquired directly from the band through the link below:

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Next Album Review: Brigitte Bardini releases stunning debut album 'Stellar Lights': a collection of magnificent sparkling jewels.

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