THERE is out there, in the wide pantheon of pop, a neat little galaxy reserved for the absolute auteur, the sort of artiste whose canon is basically unassailable, whose deftness and complexity is the subject of whispers.
I mean, Kate Bush. She has to be in there; OK, not my bag personally, but. The Blue Nile are in there. Talk Talk? Vraiment. They have to be. The Paddy McAloon of I Trawl the Megahertz. Scott Walker; maybe Van Dyke Parks. There are others.
But the latest artist who’s shaping for admittance to that recherché and august body might just be The Last Dinosaur, the music-world avatar of Jamie Cameron. You may have swooned just a little for the acoustic hush of 2017’s The Nothing, in which he was operating in a very pretty whispered country out there with M. Ward and Iron & Wine as neighbouring homesteaders; but if the track he’s just dropped, “Wholeness & The Implicate Order”, is anything to go by, then he’s made a leap of the magnitude of The Colour of Spring to Spirit of Eden.
The audio’s below, on a YouTube embed; no 180-second pop fizz this to ease you over the threshold to his new album. The majesty, the power, the arrangements. Which film might this serve as the theme for? I found myself asking as that intimately close viola gave way to the grandiose brass, building ever over a subtle piano cadence. And it slowly slides out into heavy rain, subtly filtered as if beating off the acoustics of an underpass. WOW.
So this is the first single, then? What else can the album, Wholeness (a not-so-subtle obverse to the last album? An everything?) be holding in store?
Jamie says of the track: “This piece began it life in 2012 and was finally finished this year. A collaboration between me, Luke Hayden (piano), Rachel Lanskey (viola) and Lewis Daniel (brass and wind).
“ … A mess of memories. The magic to the mundane to the malevolent. Eventually the music is overwhelmed by the elements. Instruments continue playing until they’re lost to the wind, static, footsteps, electricity. Transitory bullshit ultimately designated insignificant by the relentless and overwhelming order of nature.
“I lost my job. I lost confidence. I lost my mind. I made this record.” he concludes.
The Last Dinosaur’s Wholeness is due out on October 23rd via Phases; pre-save the album here.