Stepping away from his alias as Talvihorros, Ben Chatwin takes a nudge towards a more personal sound under his given name. The Sleeper Awakes creeps in still and menacing as a stormfront sweeping across parched fields. Chatwin's guitar divides its interests between beauty and noise, finding the former in the latter more often than not, while helping shape glassy landscapes of desolation and sorrow. Augmented by dark-hearted strings and flecked everywhere by Chatwin's use of a century-old Dulcitone (a portable piano manufactured in Glasgow at the turn of the century), the record is sweeping, cinematic and gorgeous in a way that recalls the oddly futuristic industrial landscapes of Imogen Cunningham. Like those photos, it feels steeped in a kind of deep-rooted sadness, longing and looking back at what's become and possibly what might have been. At its heart, Chatwin has crafted a study in hopeful regret, soundtracking a protagonist who's made mistakes but has convinced himself otherwise. The delusion is both beautiful and devastating.
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