Lunt – Remember We Were Waiting For The Snow

Posted: 12 December 2022 in Albums
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Cruel Nature Records – 2nd December 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

Many of us were waiting for the snow. And then, it arrived. And then everything ground to a halt. Welcome to the world now. What happened? It wasn’t always this way.

It’s all in a single word: ‘remember’ immediately imbues the album’s title with a sense of nostalgia. It isn’t explicit, of course, but it’s so, so evocative. Because, so caught up in life and the way everything blurs as time races past, we forget so much. The things we remember, then, hold a special place in our crowded minds. Reminiscences between friends, where moments, events, occurrences, people and places are conjured in those moments of reflection whereby we ‘remember when…’

Winters now are simply not the same as they were. I remember, in the early 80s, a full foot of snow on my parents’ back lawn, from which I would build a six-foot snowman and an igloo. We’d even build igloos on the school field during breaks. Snow didn’t stop school busses from running then. Perhaps it’s because of climate change, perhaps it’s because of the sheer volume of films, art, and literature, that depict idyllic, snowy winters, that show is so evocative. Most of can only dream of a white Christmas, but then, even Irving Berlin’s 1942 song was in itself a slice off nostalgia: ‘just like the ones we used to know’ is perhaps more accurately summarised as ‘just like the ones we see in fiction dating back to Dickens’ but obviously, it doesn’t have the same chime. Ultimately, the world is changing, and

The text which accompanies the album’s release serves almost as an affirmation of my line of contemplation, with the explanation that Remember We Were Waiting For The Snow is about what is called ‘solastalgia’: our anxiety, our concern, our sadness to see some natural phenomenon disappear. Written 5 years ago, after Žils [Deless-Vēliņš – aka (Lunt)] relocated to Latvia, it is a collection of exquisite reflective moving guitar-driven ambience drawing from same the sonic well as soundscapers like Jim O’Rouke’.

The nine tracks of Remember We Were Waiting For The Snow range from the expansive – the eight-minute opener, ‘Flakes and Feathers’ and the nine-minute closer, ‘Auseklis’ – to the fragmentary – the sub-two-minute ‘Dead Man in the Sand’ and ‘Dead Man in the Snow’.

Between the bodies, there is atmosphere. There is tension, but it’s contained by the soft curtains of sound. ‘Plasma (Under the Ice)’ is stark, scraping, brooding, dark, and difficult, uncomfortable, uneasy on the ear.

The instrumentation is varied, from screeding synths to picked guitar and mellow woodwind that falls between jazz and post-rock. But genres matter not and dissolve in the face of such magnificence. Remember We Were Waiting For The Snow drags hard on melancholic reflections. It’s also melodic and intimate, and ultimately, quite magical.

AA

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