On a first listen, this debut solo album from The Pineapple Thief mainman is a delicate, sensitive, mostly acoustic glide. Pleasant enough, but hardly worth another glance. But something draws you back in, and once you strip away the soft-focus surface, what’s exposed is altogether denser and darker.
Because Soord has come up with an album of songs with depth and imagination, and which are uncomfortably clever. The insistent, piano-led chime on Black Smoke slowly drawls into the dusky embrace of Buried Here. A Thousand Daggers stabs with the eeriness of the Twin Peaks theme, while Familiar Patterns has an agitatedly sedate gait as it offers a disturbed ambience.
Soord exposes the flimsiness of nostalgia on songs inspired by his own life experiences. At turns he both wallows in the memories while using the songs as a cathartic exercise. In the process he’s created something remarkable.