Oliver Barrett returns with his first Petrels album in three years; The Dusk Loom. Having put out a steady album-a-year since 2011, culminating in 2016’s Jörð, Barrett decided to take a step back from the project for a while, not wanting to releasing albums out of habit and wanting to be sure that there was something new to say.
The result is at once the most expansive but also personal Petrels release to date. Three years in the making, The Dusk Loom builds on the eclectic sonic palette of Barrett’s back catalogue but brings these sounds into sharper focus than ever before. Those hoping for the all-enveloping dynamics and textures of past Petrels releases will not be disappointed, but over the ten parts of The Dusk Loom, Barrett puts this trademark euphoric aural scree to work in new and unexpected ways.
Drawing on myriad influences as fans of Barrett’s have come to expect, the resulting themes of the album are perhaps woven more intricately than before. In The Dusk Loom, Barrett takes an evocative approach to storytelling that asks the listener to draw their own meanings from the clues and references running through the sounds and words. Finding inspiration in mythology - both ancient and new, the work and writing of Remedios Varo and William Blake, memory, death and cosmology to name just a few, Barrett pulls these seemingly disparate strands together into something that is unmistakably Petrels but which also points the way to something new.
Petrels is the solo project of Somerset-based musician and artist, Oliver Barrett. Since releasing his debut, Haeligewielle, in 2011, Petrels has toured across Europe and shared a stage with the likes of Jóhann Jóhannsson, Tim Hecker, FIRE!, Nate Young (Wolf Eyes), Trouble Books, Demdike Stare, Nadja, and Hans-Joachim Roedelius (Cluster).
“Petrels sidesteps the chilliness found in much of the music of his peers, replacing it instead with an almost spiritual ecstasy, his ravishing synths and almost choral vocal treatments calling out in cosmic, wide eyed wonder at the universe.” – Paul Margree, Louder Than War
Spectral tectonics emerge out of the ether, coalescing into brief Rephlexes and Dilla-isms before dissolving back into a warm, analogue surround. 7 years of recordings woven through 1 excellent EP. Petrels
When I listen to this I'm hearing a natural extension of In the Nursery, especially Stormhorse and L'Esprit. Luca D'Alberto's Endless Remixes also peek through.
Towering, instrumental soundscapes with choral punctuations. Cello and violin shimmer throughout. Massive, wall-of-sound crescendos. Stirring music. Robert Menser