Aries Mond – Come On Let’s Wait (Eilean Records, 2018)


I didn’t believe it would snow here this week, certainly not to the degree it did. We’ve heard the doomsday predictions of meteorologists before, and the little local microclimate made it seem all the more unlikely, and yet it did. Prodigiously, briefly. Normal weekday life here just ground to a halt; first as we stopped to watch the early flurries, to then subsequently being sent home as the conditions worsened. I was too eager to be dismissive, too cynical before: I didn’t reserve my judgement in a world of snap decisions.

In Eilean’s continuing development of a fictional landscape derived from music this lesson comes up frequently, one of slowing down and considering your environment, analysing. Come On Let’s Wait may be the highpoint of that measured approach, carefully and meticulously shoehorned into a sub-half hour frame that takes just the right amount of time to think and decide.

It has the typical intimacy of an Eilean release too, all cassette imperfections and organic fragments, captured creakings and homely groanings. Built largely off the back of the workhorse piano, its 8 sketches chart a sweet journey of realisation and patience with a flow and clarity that sounds like you’re enjoying a personal performance. Opening “Come” beckons us into its chamber, piano strokes winding and rewinding in echoic space, hovering fingertip strokes that faintly yearn and croon in desirous minimalism. It’s a lonely piece, counterbalanced nicely later by comparable “Please”, whose slow solo chords ring mutely amidst static hiss and swaying creaks.

Its plaintive, idiosyncratic loop is joined by a second sympathetic piano after a time, gentle and loving, caressing the cyclical chords in freeform piano kisses. Time slows, partnered compassion stripping away sense of urgency. This tempering is echoed in sophomore “Again” with its breathy female inclusions, all papery whispers and breathy ASMR affectations, lulling and calming as it pushes to slow down. This comes to a head in the elongate title track, its longer span used to imbibe a sense of pressure in its staccato, Morse piano blips and minor key repetitions, falling into near chaos and discordance. It feels squeezed and tightened, yet craves reduction and slowness.

It resigns itself to strip back and de-escalate, ultimately culminating in “Sure” all lost in uncomfortable padding percussion and woozy synth flangings, unfulfilling noir sustenance. It’s a late night purge, an insomniac deflation, sheets rustling in sleepless tossing before its smeared descent into joyless slumber. Yet it wakes refreshed and confident, fizzing with energy in cheery goodbye “So Long”. It shimmers with a myriad of flickering tones and quick piano, all rattling and bursting textures set to an escape velocity pace; it’s cute and fun and sure of itself. Careful consideration results in action, striking a deliberate course free of doubt or hesitation or anxiety.

It’s a hectic world: sometimes we need that little bit of snowy disruption to show us the speed and discordance of it all again, give us that soft reset we didn’t even know we needed.