SineRider – Perennial (Sound in Silence, 2024)

Do you believe in the idea of soulmates? It’s a thought that’s crossed my mind many times in the past, with my tendency to (over)intellectualise romance. Because, what if it’s true and I’ve already met my person, let them slip through my fingers? Or is it worse that no such person exists, either for me personally or in a wider sense, no such destiny of connection between people? Philosophically both of these prospects make me sad in different ways.

I think it’s something we’d all like to believe in somehow, that there exists someone out there with whom there is a perfect bond, that no stronger connection can exist with a lifelong love. An idealisation perhaps, but why not?

I have these dreams sometimes, unbidden, even unwanted, that I wont articulate here but I read my subconscious desires writ large in them. Talking and mouths and eyes and bodies and skin and then I wake up with a sense of loss, a vague malaise that lightly haunts me until the fading out in the bustle of life.

If I had to set a sound to these dreams and thoughts, the quiet ebb and flow of SineRider’sĀ PerennialĀ would be high on the list. An album of quiet loops, rarified synths, chiming pianos and shifting drones, it invokes the likes of Ian Hawgood or Federico Durand, tentative moments appearing delicately out of the fabric to shift and glimmer politely before moving along.

Guitar chords loop in the short light of beautiful interior “Glowing”, emanating a soft aura of charming hope right in the record’s core. It’s a rarer moment though, and with the exception of penultimate “Soft Pastel” both are held amongst more elongate and shimmering tones. Sophomore “Roadmap”, “Form”, and later half “Fragile” exist more in the former camp, developing at a gentle pace in calming drones and synths as the patient path towards the believer, the soft current of destiny wafting us into love’s arms.

Glittering chimes and piano peppers much of the remaining pieces, vacillating between tinted sadness and fairy-like suspensions. The seminal opener rolls on distant waves of chords as time’s wind blows glistening wavelets towards the shores of our mind, whilst the more subdued evocations of “Overgrown” have winnowed dreams down to a slower pace. A kalimba picks leisurely, serenely, swelling the moment to allow us to savour all its instantaneity and feelings so carefully lidded.

All of this is capped by the virtuous ending of “Extol”, whose looped piano weaves an almost wedding processional atmosphere of dainty…something, not quite happiness, not quite satisfaction, but reverie of sorts. Suspended. Satisfied. At peace.

While it was probably Devin’s intent more to create a record on the endless beauty of flowering plant-life, is there not something relatable in the romantic world, of blooms and busts, of returns and timelessness, of the hope of a Summertime of the soul? I think so, though perhaps I don’t always feel it.