Karl McCann conjures up an entire world on the lush dense sound of “Remotion”. A lovely mixture of slowcore, lo-fi, folk, and chamber pop, the way he ties these many elements together is uniquely his own. His voice rests in the very center of the album from which all else flows. Lyrics here have a poignant poetic quality to them and his voice contains multitudes. With such deft storytelling he conjures up entire lifetimes in the carefully woven narratives that emerge throughout. Melodies have a simple yet effective beauty to them. Never rushing things, he allows the atmosphere to take over, for the mood is a huge part of the overall approach.
The sound has a luxurious quality to it and the way he carefully balances it all recalls a bit of Low’s album “Trust”. Akin to that album, Karl incorporates classical flourishes with a stately grace and tempo. Rhythms have a delicate, restrained balance about them for they make sure to bring a sort of rural pastoral hue into them. Lyrics recalls Robert Wyatt’s own curious form of folklore as the tales are easy to get lost with all their swirling, vivid detail entering into the fray.
“Do I Belong In Here With You” sets the tone for what follows, featuring exquisite guitar work and the rich cadence of his powerful emotive vocals. Things get stripped down a bit on the nimble “Vow” where the song is drenched in a dreamy disposition. With a delivery akin to that of an early Thom Yorke, “An Illusion” opts for a surreal scope. A gorgeous buildup takes shape on the elegant deep resonance of “Abysm”. Such a spacious piece the title track “Remotion” serves as the beating heart of the album. Easily the highlight he pours his heart out in a way that feels so raw and intimate. “4Eva” chooses a different approach, one that takes its time in growing in scope.
Carefully laid out chords give “Analytic Virtue” a particular poignancy for he shows love for the surroundings. Light percussion underpins the driving razor-sharp clarity of “Reverie Is Ours”. His playing has a certain sharpness on the beautiful aura of “It’s Just Another Shot”. Things have a hushed awe to them on the contemplative “What We’ve Become”. Layer upon layer is applied with painterly precision for “Be Patient With A Patient” has such depth behind it. Spry rhythms underpin the finale of “Sleep Perfume”.
“Remotion” proves to be one of those albums that defies easy categorization, embracing a sense of the ancient and timeless while showing off Karl McCann’s uncanny ability to create a whole ecosystem of sound.