Recommended Listening: Winterlight - Gestural Abstractions
Giving some listening time to Winterlight in the height of summer may seem a bit odd, but trust us, Gestural Abstractions, the band's new album on n5MD, shines with a seasonally-appropriate amount of radiance. In fact, it was a pretty perfect travel companion this past week as I drove through a smoke-filled I-5 corridor, my car emerging from the gray just as the music crescendoed. Each of the album's seven tracks rise and fall individually, as post-rock songs often do, giving definition to Gestural Abstractions' overall arc. But recurring themes run through and across the constructions as well, resulting in a subtle cohesion. So whether you listen in winter's dark or summer's haze, Winterlight's music is a source of luminescence, piercing though opaque landscapes.
Compared to Winterlight's second album, The Longest Sleep Through the Darkest Days, Gestural Abstractions was a relative breeze for Tim Ingham and co to dream up and then create. Ingham's daughter returned home from university during the pandemic, and this development coupled with mandatory lockdown resulted in a periods of uninterrupted time for the duo to focus and work together on new music.
Bel and Tim Ingham, photo credit: n5MD.
Winterlight's brand of cinematic post-rock has a few characteristics common in the broader genre, but their liberal inclusion of throwback (dare we say "cheesy") soft-rock effects is what made Gestural Abstractions stand out to us. Memories Are Flotsam opens and closes with what sounds like keyboard rhythm presets, the snare on In Solitude echoes like it might in a 90's R&B slow jam, and the first minute of Half Forgotten could easily be confused for a Phil Collins ballad. But we're here for all of it. Seriously. Our favorite moment on the album, though, is found near the end of Our Bodies Motionless, when resplendent guitar and strings swell up, closing what feels like the album's first movement. It's all good though, and we highly recommend listening to the entire album when you have some time to sit and take it in. Gestural Abstractions is out now, and you can find it through this Bandcamp link or streaming fully on Spotify. Hear a sample track below.