Buck Curran - Immortal Light album review

Psych folk masterpiece shines bright.

Buck Curran - Immortal Light album artwork

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Best known as one half of Maine’s psych folk duo Arborea, Buck Curran’s mesmerising solo debut doesn’t depart too much from the whispered, dream-states Arborea excelled in since their formation in 2005. With the duo currently on hiatus, the presence of Shanti Deschaine’s gossamer-thin backing vocals on the hypnotic New Moontide and a brooding, sinister reading of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Bad Moon Rising provides a reassuring continuity.

Thanks to its breathtaking production, whole worlds hang in the plucked harmonics of Curran’s guitar strings, their deep echoes suggesting lonely, woebegone figures in lost landscapes. There’s an unerring sense of melancholy threaded through melodies that sometimes bring to mind the intimate reveries of vintage John Renbourn on the one hand, and Ry Cooder’s aching, cinematic slide work on the other. The border between folk and electronica shimmers and blurs on the vast spacescapes of Andromeda and the 13-minute title track, imbued with radiant harmonium and Deschaine’s tremulous invocations, is a haunted and haunting masterpiece.

Sid Smith

Sid's feature articles and reviews have appeared in numerous publications including Prog, Classic Rock, Record Collector, Q, Mojo and Uncut. A full-time freelance writer with hundreds of sleevenotes and essays for both indie and major record labels to his credit, his book, In The Court Of King Crimson, an acclaimed biography of King Crimson, was substantially revised and expanded in 2019 to coincide with the band’s 50th Anniversary. Alongside appearances on radio and TV, he has lectured on jazz and progressive music in the UK and Europe.  

A resident of Whitley Bay in north-east England, he spends far too much time posting photographs of LPs he's listening to on Twitter and Facebook.