A belated review, admittedly, but hopefully one that is worthwhile, because if you are yet to sample the delights of Minor Pieces, featuring the acclaimed musician Ian William Craig and newcomer Missy Donaldson, you are in for a treat.
One of the most spiritual sounding records of 2019, the first aspects we are hit with on The Heavy Steps Of Dreaming are the remarkable harmonies pulled off by this rather cerebral duo, on ‘Rothko‘, as well as the backdrop of almost white noise – often a single monotonous note – which gives the album a somewhat otherworldly feel, which only serves to make it ever more beautiful.
If you were visiting ancient monasteries in forgotten towns of the UK, this would be exactly the kind of soundtrack that would be playing in your head. It possesses a dazzling levity that would sound like Antony and the Johnsons merged with The Associates, if those two artists had combined to form a folk opera side project. There is little point in singling out standalone tracks, because pretty much all of them are spine-tingling.
Of course, we were already well aware of what a talent Ian William Craig is, but I would argue that this is his finest work to date, and it is elevated to such a state largely by the irresistible charm of Donaldson’s splendidly complementary, searing vocal accompaniment.
In summary, this is a gorgeous, wistful album that makes you feel like you are being endlessly caressed, and really, what’s not to like about that?
The Heavy Steps Of Dreaming is out now on FatCat.