This release is Rachael Dease’s first solo album, although she’s been working consistently in various sound-design roles, such as installations for Dark Mofo’s Winterfeast, for a while. Written as lullabies for her newborn during the bushfires at the beginning of 2020, this album is a ruminative exploration of dark textures and timbres, reflecting a time of change and upheaval.
The music is genre-ambivalent, flirting with what’s probably easiest to think of as indie ambient-synth-and-strings. It’s worth mentioning that the press release describes it as “part-song, part-symphony”, and name-checks contemporary composers like Max Richter, Jóhann Jóhannsson, as well as Henri Gorecki.
I can hear Dease’s experience in composing for installations; these ruminative songs feel as if you can step inside, around, and through them, feeling and reflecting on aspects of the song as you go. Lead single T he Mountain reflects this sense of quiet exploration with the lyrics “we took a long walk into caves/I turned a lifetime into days/we took the long dive in today/I’m gone”.
Still, this contemplative mood is the downfall of the album. While each song is...