WITH the afterglow of their May album The Weight Of The Sun still warming us, Scottish progressive chamber folk quartet Modern Light are still intent on riding the melodic winds further in pursuit of their craft; and they’ve taken what they call some leftover seeds from the album sessions to nurture into tender-stemmed new tunes, gathered together as a brace of EPs to be issued by Fire; the first part of which, Life Flows In Endless Song, is out now.
We’re told The EPs were recorded partly at the Glad Café in Glasgow, under whose welcoming roof members Emily Scott and Joe Smilie laid down piano melodies and percussion; psychogeographic songsmith Rob St John added guitars and modular synth, and an ambient track came from a serendipitous, incorrect layering of each of the tracks already put together in exporting the files.
The band say: “We shook off our usual song structures in favour of something repetitive, slow and heavy; life flows in endless song.
“We added chopstick drums, prepared guitars, harmonium, xaphoon, bowed clock gongs, chimes and violins from our homes.”
We’ve embedded the video for the autumn-into-winter heralding “The Failing Light” below; Rob’s gruffer, darker vocal providing the counterpoint against which Emily’s mellifluous turn soars higher.
Elsewhere on the EP, “Endless Song” is a wonderful layering of portent in twin harmony, widescreen and dreich with monochrome weather; while “Slow Weather” is a gorgeous eddy of baroque folk with a middle break of harmony lush like a harvest field.
We’re told that the second instalment will travel to the darker side for a sonic exploration. You have to say, in a year that also gave us Fair Mothers’ excellent In Monochrome, that the leftfield Scottish folk scene is in the rudest health.