'Interstitial anthems' is how they describe this collection and I get it...
The band, Joshua Inyang and Joshua Reid’s press release introduced me to a new word, ‘interstitial’, which seems to mean a gap or an interval. ‘Interstitial anthems’ is how they describe this collection and I get it, these are stoned soundscapes that meander nowhere between slippery memories. If there is such a thing as an epic forgotten moment then these can soundtrack it nicely.
When Burial appeared back in the pre-riot days with that peculiarly British take on the effects of chemically manufactured skunk on a generation of depressives it was no surprise the music didn’t exactly start a revolution of copycats. This album obviously owes that sound some £££s but they have moved it forward. Strange to think that Shaking Stevens was seen as a ‘revivalist’ just ten years after Elvis’ Are You Lonesome Tonight, but this release just seems like a second or so away in a continuum.
The odd American-accented soundbites laid on top jar a bit with the knowledge that SA originated in Manchester but I suppose it just confirms the idea that America owns authenticity and self-love as an entertainment strand for 'this' generation.
A mysterious female-sounding singer called ‘guest’ appropriately guests like a ghost, all reverbed and whispered, on a couple of tunes and Blackhaine features on focus track B£E, where the swelling strings push his voice into the background, like a man shouting in the street as a family mourns (he’s trying to 'put down the steel' - hope he manages it).
Kinsey Lloyd’s gentle poem on U hints at a more definite future, one where SA add their own meaning to an album, instead of leaving it to us to add the visuals. More non-stressing vocals from Bianca Scout on the intriguingly named Girl Scout Cookies (what’s that story, then?) which morphs into a jammed bass guitar led Cocteau Twins fade out.
The album goes out on the title track featuring HForSpirit (on violin?), an empty school corridor flashback, summing up this series of sad fragments. When you half close your eyes in an extended blink and a tear blurs the ordinary into a beautiful painting of suggestions. Stoned, of course. That’s what this album is a bit like.