Andrew Wasylyk Fugitive Light And Themes Of Consolation

Athens Of The North
18th September 2020

Format Info


Monorail Music is extremely proud to present, in collaboration with Athens Of The North, a signed, numbered edition of Andrew Wasylyk’s new record, Fugitive Light And Themes Of Consolation. This Edition Is Now Sold Out!
Black un-numbered vinyl available.

For me the best thing about working there is the music and the people. It’s about finding new music to love, putting others on to it, and being introduced to it by colleagues and customers. A couple of years ago I was working with Russell when Andrew came by the shop and in an extremely modest way left us his music to listen to – just for when we had a moment. He left and soon after the record we were listening to finished. Why not? On it went, Themes For Buildings And Spaces. We were both working away saying things like, “‘pretty nice”, “bit like John Barry”, “oh, this is beautiful”, “Bill Wells?”, “ok, this is good”, “this is really good”, “I’m going to email him.” We immediately arranged to buy some copies of the record, sold them all, bought a bunch more, sold those ones too, bought a bunch more… until they were all gone.

When The Paralian came out he asked us if we’d like to work on it together, to make a Monorail edition. We agreed. Spacily working on some liner notes looking into the mid-distance for inspiration and telling my future colleague, Lisa, about it. I remember the words just kind of tumbled out, like I feel Andrew’s music tumbles out, composed but natural too, like it’s always been there. His music has a sort of permanence about it, it’s at one with nature. Andrew has described Fugitive Light And Themes Of Consolation as a counterpoint to The Paralian, exploring this time the inner estuary. It’s gorgeous walkabout music, you maybe don’t even need to have it playing, once heard, once remembered.

SP / Monorail Music

Fugitive Light And Themes Of Consolation is the third in a trio of records by Andrew Wasylyk which unearth and reshape the landscape of Eastern Scotland as shimmering and inventive instrumental music. Where Themes for Buildings and Spaces (2017) toured the architecture and industry of Dundee, evoking a place caught between decay and regrowth, the Scottish Album of the Year Award shortlisted The Paralian (2019) explored the littoral exchanges between sea and shore on the North Sea coastline.
Fugitive Light And Themes Of Consolation carries a trace of this arc on a return upriver, drifting back inland along the River Tay’s inner estuary: a record of the low light on winter fields, empty suburban streets at dawn, the deep clear waters of the quarry excavated to build the city. Ten songs circling landscapes for meaning, channelling half-heard melodies and misremembered memories; caught somewhere between settling down and setting out towards the shining levels of the estuary and beyond.

The record is threaded with the influences of people, place and musical lineages – David Axelrod, John Barry, Virginia Astley, Mark Hollis, Alice Coltrane – yet as with all of Andrew’s solo work it has a deft, clear voice all of its own. Recorded between Summer 2019 and January 2020, Fugitive Light… displays his talent as a multi-instrumentalist and composer: all hushed drum grooves, rolling waves of plucked acoustic guitar, cascading upright piano, Bob James-inspired Fender Rhodes, rippling clàrsach harp, and ECM-worthy electric guitar motifs. As on The Paralian, string arrangements are by fellow Tayside musician Pete Harvey, known for his work with King Creosote, Modern Studies and The National Theatre of Scotland.

Andrew has a knack for writing melodies that seem at once timeless yet entirely individual: emerging somewhere between spiritual jazz, neo-classical and library music, diffracted by the blues and greys of the wide Tay firth. The instrumentation has a soft-focus glow of its own: piano keys gently pressed, the metronomic click of analogue drum machines, the well and wash of strings and brass, a singing saw whirring into the heavens. Fugitive Light And Themes Of Consolation is another Wasylyk song-cycle wonder; a wander through glimmering internal and external landscapes.

This is a record scored through with patterns of light: the song titles evoke last sunbeams, the fugitive light of water, the violet hour of autumn, cemetery silhouettes, and the half-light of the moon; the arrangements aglow with subtle shifts of texture and refractions of melody. Fugitive Light… is an atmospheric (in both the sonic and elemental sense) evocation of the ebb of the world, something that Andrew describes as, “simultaneously about knowing loss and accepting love, the optimistic and the downhearted, where the lightness and dark gather together.”

Rob St. John. June, 2020.

Other Releases by Andrew Wasylyk