RODDY WOOMBLE – ” Everyday Sun ” EP

Posted: April 6, 2020 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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Idlewild frontman Roddy Woomble continues his solo career with the release of experimental six track EP ‘Everyday Sun’ which combines minimal electronic beats and soundscapes with existential musings and stream of consciousness poetry. Joining him on this meditative voyage is bandmate Andrew Mitchell, who helped Woomble write each track in stages and create an otherworldly feel. the arty Edinburgh-based angular rock band that emerged in the late ’90s to blossom with commercial success at the turn of the millennium when they began to embrace stringed anthems and a more overtly commercial sound. Woomble has also embarked on a successful solo career, releasing four studio albums since 2006, which allowed him to explore a wider scope of sound though usually rooted in folk. Now, he teams up with his Idlewild band mate Andrew Mitchell to write and record possibly his most ambitious material to date; the Everyday Sun EP.

The Everyday Sun EP, for the most part is cool, dry, and detached, certainly not the anthemic rock or angst of Idlewild, which is thanks in part to the unconventional creative process that saw Woomble adopt something akin to the William S. Burroughs’ cut up method, famously adapted by David Bowie, putting lyrics to the beats and soundscapes created separately by Mitchell. The pair took turns to consider and adapt each other’s contributions, allowing each track to mutate and change in unexpected ways.

Starting with the title track, we are immersed in an alien world that is strangely serene as Woomble picks apart existential questions with a curious detachment. Electric keys are joined by basic beats that beep and flow like the workings of a ventilator, whilst the monotonal vocal delivery completes the feeling of being under the knife in an operating theater. A marked distance from anything previous in either his solo or Idlewild back catalogue, the all-pervasive strangeness is both apparent and yet somehow soothing and the antiseptic smell lingers over most of the six tracks.

The sluggish pace of “Context of Midnight,” with pianos awash in reverb creates a sense of paralysis. This woozy sterile background met with poetic musings feels like losing half remembered morphine dreams upon waking. Before the vocals start, “Straight to Blame” feels like the score to a ’70s hard hitting antihero detective movie before unfolding into something more psychedelic, reminiscent of the experimental freeform writers of beat counter culture.

“Secret For the Last Time” is the only song that feels like the Woomble we are more familiar with, taking a more tradition approach to create a stripped back acoustic led song which sees the introspection change from cold and nervy to become a warm sepia filtered nostalgia. We return to Woomble’s distant planet for “One Minute Out of the World” where low bellowing synths are joined with reflections of how precise moments can have a lasting effect that reverberates around the world.

The EP ends with a truly ambitious 17-minute long experimental echoing abstract poem “RW OC Cuttup,” which was composed by cellist Oliver Coates and saw the pair explore exactly what happens when the dividing line between the traditional and cutting edge blurs by using an algorithm to re-interpret their looped composition. The result is a hypnotic limbo of mental claustrophobia, as Woomble tries to make sense of shape, texture, form, and his surroundings, seemingly stifled by the computer program and condemned to repeat his thoughts and actions endlessly in a digital Nietzschean eternal recurrence. While it’s not exactly the sort of song that is particularly memorable and I can’t imagine many situations you would want to play the whole thing other than helping you focus whilst reading or studying, it is an interesting artistic folly for the purposes of the EP.

On his latest solo album The Deluder, Woomble began to shed his more pastoral woody texture and start to explore a more measured and ethereal sound. But whereas that LP had real heart, Everyday Sun has removed all sense of humanity in favour of total abstraction. Though it shows that the experienced songwriter still has plenty of ideas to play with and is bold in terms of experimentation and expression, it rarely hits the mark and is unlikely to be regarded as amongst his best work. But then, the beauty of the EP as a format is that it allows an artist to try something new to some depth and test the reaction without becoming fully committed or permanently chained to the new sound. (www.roddywoomble.net)

“I greatly enjoyed both of Andrew’s instrumental solo albums, and really liked the idea of trying to read some of my words over his compositions. It was interesting just to have an electronic drumbeat to base my words around…”

Everyday Sun – taken from Roddy Woomble’s forthcoming EP out 2th7 March.

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