The end of Lost Tribe Sound’s Fearful Void series is now overlapping with the beginning of the Salt & Gravity series like blue and yellow making green. We’ve come to trust both the label and the output of From the Mouth of the Sun (Aaron Martin/Dag Rosenqvist), and this is yet another fine pairing.
Light Caught the Edges is an autumnal-sounding album. The music starts in a distant whoosh that gains volume like the ground receiving leaves. Keys and strings are added, then an electronic pulse, the solidifying of a new direction. Martin offers a ten-note cello melody, making a connection to seasons past, loved ones lost, and the continuation of time. When it recedes, we hear Rosenqvist, who has been there all along, a steady force like sap or root.
While the timbres travel from sparse to full, its full sections are fuller than before, thanks to a host of guest musicians. “Landing in the Dark” is particularly poignant, showcasing Jakob Lindhagen on piano. This song is like the early bittersweet feeling that summer is really over, followed by the acceptance of autumn and the remembrance of its own quiet beauty. From this point forward, the album will not become as melancholic again. Nor would we expect it to, given its title, or the titles of pieces such as “Breaking Light,” “Reflection’s Center” and “The Warmth Falls In.”
“Breaking Light” lifts the album’s spirits, pointing toward the spiritual gilt of dawn. As the track builds in density, it approaches post-rock in timbre. There’s even a “boom” moment at 3:33, the timing numerically symbolic. Lisen Rylander Löve’s saxophone enters like unbridled joy.
An unusual pairing arrives at the center of the set: in one track a bucolic tone, the sound of birds by a stream, passing traffic, a peaceful patina. In the next a distant drum like a meandering T-rex. The cello is countered by distorted drone. Might “Ashen” represent the battle of the seasons or of mindsets, clawing for emotional recovery? If so, the album doesn’t dwell there long, as “Memory of Crashing Waves” works its way to the shore, and the waves themselves are heard in the closing track. “I Draw You Close” may refer to a loved one or to the light, either which might provide the strength needed to thrive in a brand new season. The album ends in winter winds, but the birds are still there, singing their songs. (Richard Allen)