CD on Miasmah
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Cambridge-based Simon Scott might still be best known for his tenure as the backbone of influential shoegazers Slowdive, but after his debut solo effort ‘Navigare’ in 2009, he showed that there was far more to his oeuvre than people might have thought. With an ease and fluidity that eschews the usual trappings of the genre, he injected Slowdive’s free-flowing bliss into the kind of blackened soundscapes the Miasmah label has made its calling card and gave the sound a rich, multi-layered quality that was effortlessly enticing. ‘Bunny’ is Scott’s sophomore long player, and sees the multi-instrumentalist growing in confidence as he takes on a plethora of themes and ideas and distills them into a coherent, well-defined narrative.
The overall premise of the record is apparent from the very beginning, and might surprise some with its inspired take on the blackened jazz and smokey Americana heard in ‘Paris, Texas’ or ‘Mulholland Dr.’. It would do Scott a disservice to simply label the music as ‘Lynchian’ however, his success is to treat the layers of instrumentation (drums, guitars, cello, synthesizers) with a masterful fluidity, allowing the influences to melt into a delicate and delectable whole. There is an underlying surreal seam however, which erupts through ever part of ‘Bunny’, beginning with its very odd title. The juxtaposition of the pitch-black humour gives an unnerving mood to the tracks which only emphasizes the blues-flecked dread of the record itself. Occasionally Scott acknowledges his shoegazing past, nudging the sound towards the blurred haze of his former band, but even these moments are cavernous enough for us to imagine them oozing from a Midwestern jukebox in an abandoned suburban diner. ‘Bunny’ is an ambitious and daring journey for an artist who refuses to stay still; and it might just be the best road trip you’ve never taken…