One of music's greatest powers comes in its ability to trigger memories. And as ASIP turns ten this year (ten-years since the very first blog post went up in 2008), it's harmonious that one of the first artists we featured way-back, releases a long awaited follow-up.
Listening to Winterlight's new album, I've got a giddy feeling of exploring not only Tim Ingham's music at the time, but the other music that made me tick around that time, too. It's funny to think that only a very small percentage of you reading this now, remember hearing or reading about Winterlight all those years back. But for me, memories come flooding back.
Tim's sound as Winterlight remains a glistening, softly-told journey, portrayed and influenced by many years listening to post-rock and shoegaze music. Not much has changed in the seven years Tim has been away and his last album Hope Dies Last, apart from the inclusion of his daughter on bass, but this is a style of music that rarely comes about. By the sounds of things, it's been a tough journey for them both to see this one through, so for that, and for sticking to the sound many of us loved, I'm grateful to see another album come to fruition.
As a comparison (which is arguably necessary if you're muttering shoegaze or post-rock influences), we often we see this kind of shoegaze/post-rock inspired ambient music descending into the more grandiose, orchestral side of things. With Hammock, for example, melding modern-classical elements, bigger drums, or soaring guitar leads on the more soundtracked moments. Tim keeps it simple and uplifting, with gentle ambient pads and melodies built for stargazing. Drums are minimal and the bass a crucial accent, and structural focus is kept on the guitars. Progression comes in layers, instead of numerous additional instruments, slowly building palettes of sound around the lead chords.
Only then, three-quarters of the way through, do you realize Tim's music influences - as you look back to where the track started, he's turned a simple melody and subtle ambient sounds, into a full-blown wave of colorful shoegaze.
Listen to Winterlight's isolatedmix, featuring Helios, port-royal, Slowdive Robin Guthrie and Crisopa.