Credits header picture: Stephen Gilmour
It’s finally here and it surprises with fragile beauty and enthralling swings to unexpected heights. The new full-length album “Thawlines” by Berlin-born and Glasgow-based composer and solo artist John Lemke is a multifaceted journey through nostalgia, melancholy, contemplation, and awakenings.
These vivid instrumentals do not need any words to tell very concrete stories of loss, hope and new beginnings. Not only the instrumentation is in constant change but also the mood is oscillating in such a fluent, yet distinct way – it literally creates sudden outbursts of delight after slight feelings of impendence and trepidation.
You will not find abysmal depths on this album. Nevertheless, John Lemke creates “bipolaresque” up- and downward movements, linked to slowdown and acceleration. The focus here seems to zoom in and out, from a microcosm to a macrocosm of human emotion, creating a vast, rich and ever-changing soundscape that elegantly pushes the boundaries of genre.
The amount of time spent on this album is clearly recognised in the details, in its overall story-telling composition and the meticulous distribution of instruments within the arrangement. To make his vision come true, John Lemke collaborated with Pete Harvey (Modern Studies) on cello, Clive Deamer (Portishead, Radiohead, Robert Plant) on drums and harpist Urška Preis.
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