Anthéne – Colour Fields (Hibernate, 2018 EP)


We’ve reached the point in the year following the solstice that drives back to my parents’ house for the weekend on a Friday evening are actually still light as I journey through the Golden Hour. Before the equinox it’s a dark and gloomy drive, and sometimes my southbound trip home is eerie and misty, fog accumulating in hollows and seeping out of ghostly trees. Now though it’s lovely, the world all green and lush, a low Sun bathing the passing countryside in golden light.

It’s refreshing to be alone for a couple of hours with nothing but myself, some music and the road: I’ve actually come to look forward to these drives somewhat, especially when the weather’s good. I’ve set the journey to many different soundtracks over the last 18 months, but Colour Fields is one that takes me out of the car and into the surroundings very nicely.

Closing title track “Colour Field” transliterates the setting Sun over the rolling hills beautifully, the star a heavy burnished gold orb melting in a pastel sky. The endless expanses of passing agriculture are caught under its ebbing gaze: vistas of stalks poking into the sky wave in the wind, eddies of air rippling across the surface of an ocean of leaves and stems. The sky is brought to life in their earthly motions, carrying with it soft smells blowing in off the yellow tracts of rapeseed.

This outside world goes through these excitations every day, every moment: opener “Twenty Four Hours” condenses this cyclical process of illumination and darkening, of winds and water and quiet struggle in bleary passages of smeared time. It’s filled with half-lit hoverings, drones blurred into a timeless moment; something like bird squawks or synth strangeness can be heard flitting through intermittently, animalic injections circling in well-trodden skies above, inspecting the progress of the Spring growth below.

It swings into the beautiful, rarified “Cordelia”, all clear lightness and fragile evocations as its brief span climaxes to a short but sweet point like the fleeting passage of blossom. It’s a replete and loving instant filled quickly to its satisfaction, much like the quickly passing road fills me with a strange and immediate sense of satiation.

But it’s the core of this little EP in “Cadence” that’s the real gem. It comes across as a little more pensive than its counterparts (with the exception of the patient and anticipatory hums of “Red Letter Day”), more akin to Brad’s older works in a way. Yet it strikes this incredible balance as it seems to dissolve before us, this drone moment winnowing into fractal electronic divergence, sinuous streams of of textural dissolution as tendrils unwind. Alone in the moment we are tapped by the world around us: every leaf, every cloud, every hummock and ditch beckons for our attention, drunk on the power of our rapturous attention in the closing light of day.