A transitory streak of red and blue, the artwork for Barnaby Carter’s debut record encapsulates the fragile beauty of the album it represents. Drawing on the temporality of the natural world, While It Still Blooms is a contemplative work which retains a cautious sense of optimism throughout.
The record is structured around delicate guitars gliding over blankets of reverb, while a gentle warmth courses through pensive melodies and muted percussion. Cold Weather Warm Soul sees glacial textures, hushed vocal samples and granular hi hats gradually build into a euphoric soundtrack for crisp November mornings. Basti operates as a mood piece, marrying shimmering guitars with airy synth lines, whilst Ought’ve combines swathes of reverb and soulful vocals with harmonic chord progressions. On album highlight Your Greatest Gift, Carter’s resonant guitar lines are enriched by the orchestral lamentations of violinist Alex Garden. A shivering percussion pattern bolsters the plaintive ambience, as the pair successfully infuse classical tendencies with minimal electronica.
Whilst It Still Blooms impresses as a singular and intimate body of work. Released via the illustrious Project Mooncircle, Carter’s debut is a record of emotional subtlety and intricacy, and a standout release of the season.
Barnaby was kind enough not only to pick three recommendations for us, but also to visually represent each one as an abstract artwork. The merlot and mahogany hues of his Blood Meridian painting (a novel which also inspired album track Evening Redness) captures the unforgiving landscape and immense brutality of Cormac McCarthy’s epic. As a Bristol based artist, Barnaby also recommended Tinca Gallery in Portishead and Lime Tree in Bristol as two prominent galleries in the local scene.
Boyhood - Richard Linklater
Contemplative and moving. Spanning 12 years we follow a boy’s transition into adulthood. I’ve been a fan of Linklater’s work for a while now. From the early musings of Slacker to the meditative dream state of Waking Life via the Before Sunrise trilogy (hey I like romance too!?) and last year’s Everybody Wants Some!! - which was a barrel of laughs.
Blood Meridian - Cormac McCarthy
This one’s epic and pretty violent but beautifully written. McCarthy shines light into crag and crevice to reveal the violent and unrepentant outcast underbelly of the American / Texan border of the 1850s. An anti-western of biblical proportions.
The vastness is stark and unremitting yet beautifully painted. A contemplation on war and faith.
They’re easy to make and cheap sustenance:
- Mix flour and water together to make a smooth ball or multiples thereof (if sticky add some more flour)
- Flatten and roll out the dough. Fairly thin.
- Heat up in a hot dry pan until they colour.
- Put them aside and top with butter while warm.
I usually have these with haloumi, hummus and tomato with maybe some yoghurt too. Or alternatively accompanying a curry chapati style.
While It Still Blooms is released via Project Mooncircle on Friday 28th October