I have been a fan for a while now of Tom Honey’s GWFAA outputs such as A Summer and Underneath the Stars. Occasionally the drone inflexions of some ‘ambient’ material leaves me decidedly cold and unmoved, but GWFAA always manage to add enough ‘real’ music to steer it well clear of such dull and unrewarding efforts. Tom manages to stay more grounded and better structured whilst retaining the languid fluidity.
It is a delight to note how Toms music has grown and developed with every release and I sense a recent progression from his collaborative work with brother Rob under the moniker Damn Robot! ( a few words on their latest are here) and this seems to have rubbed off on this rather fine new set.
Listening, perhaps fittingly, to Lights on a night flight home, watching the lightening blast open the sky beneath me revealing the lights of distant Pisa, the set feels almost tailor made for such a setting (tracks like Storm Fronts Collide, eerily prescient).
The impact, or perhaps echo, of the likes of A Winged Victory or the Sullen, can be felt on tracks like Thinking of You, with its rise and fall of the ‘strings’ and the building crescendo.
I am not always a fan of very short tracks that can sometimes feel like fillers but the three at the centre of this set don’t feel like that, especially One of These Days which builds on it’s piano and scratchy soundtrack base with his almost trademark ‘oboe’ sounds.
The final two tracks, An Ode to Fring (no, no idea) and Rescue return to a length that allows for build and development and whilst the former might perhaps feel slightly more like GWFAA style of old, compared to the fresher feel of the first half of the album, Rescue comes on almost anthemic in contrast.
So once again Mr Honey has produced some very satisfying sounds, granted not for anytime anywhere listening, but for the right time and place music like this is hard to beat. For me the best GWAA album so far.
Released via Sound in Silence the album is to be purchased and streamed through the GWAA Bandcamp site (more stuff can be heard via Soundcloud). The very limited edition physical copies have gone from the GWAA Bandcamp site, but you can still get those downloads there! Alternatively those nice people at Sound in Silence say they still have some physical copies left via their Bandcamp site