Review of Quite A Way Away [12k1070]

Fluid Radio (UK)

Sentences needn’t be long winded. Keep the language concise. True meaning can be conveyed without the need for convoluted word play. Cut to the heart of the matter. Be direct. Don’t divulge from what is intended…

Forget about words for now. The intricacies of vocal expression will be put on hold. In the context of this passage let’s consider something richer: sound. This isn’t just another cog, although it does evoke something circular, round, spiralling and full of motion. The noise it emanates is generated from a guitar, an instrument whose strings are cherished and tenderly plucked by its player. Its music glides around an open space, creating kaleidoscopic patterns to those that absorb its reverberations.

Now let’s merge these two elements. The sweeping, gliding and hypnotic guitar picks are met by short bursts of dialect. As they bind, images are sketched and feelings evoked. Imagine the words to be like a howling wind, and the instrumentation to be the science behind its foundation. It is from this that tangible products are produced: songs.

What we are driving at here is some partial analysis of <i>Quiet A Way Away</i> which is the third album from Gareth Dickson. This talented folk musician has succeeded here in bringing together what was revered from his previous works: a hushed, articulated voice and the wide expanses of manipulated acoustic guitar play.

Over the course of eight tracks listeners will witness these qualities form in tandem to create works of subtle, elegant and sometimes enchanting beauty. Some are filled with an uplifting air such as “Nunca James” whose at times undecipherable lyrics are met with delicate playing. Others, like “Get Together” offer a greater degree of uncertainty as Dickson’s Glaswegian tongue emits questions of mystery and unease. There are also songs without words, there to guide listeners deeper into the quiet, yet detailed world of self-reflection that the music reflects. Stand out song “This Is The Kiss” seems to find the perfect balance between lyrical poignancy and masterful execution of the experimental guitar play for which Dickson is seeking to make his signature sound.

Released via 12k records in what appears to be a continuing effort to diversify its roster of artists and the style of music it has until now been synonymous with, <i>Quiet A Way Away</i> is as much a 12k record as many of the label’s more familiar experimental and electronic releases by way of its unmistakable quality. An album of solitary beauty and a patient exercise of gentle escapism.

– Josh Atkin (@manalicream) for Fluid Radio

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