Glissando – The World Without Us

Glissando are the reason Richard Knox and I are friends having met when I was running Trampoline and they were looking for shows around the UK to promote their debut record.  A couple of further Trampoline shows followed, the last being in 2009 the day before the birth of my son Roddy.  Live, I always found them to be a stunningly beautiful proposition.   There was something really different and evocative that captured your attention completely and let you get lost you in the moment, their ethereal world consuming you for the duration of their set.  However, their debut album, ‘With our arms wide open we walked towards the burning sea’, and I have always had a troubled relationship.  Music that translates beautifully in the live setting is not always so beautiful in the comfort of your living room.  Sometimes overly long moments of nothing that are so beautiful to see in the live setting fail to work on record.  The album was midnight music.  Wine stained.  Mood music.  Only really effective at a certain time and place.

When Rich sent me the new Glissando record, it’s been 4 years since the debut, I was a little on edge about what I was about to experience.  To my surprise, what has been created is an immediate, engaging and compelling record that sucks you in and keeps you focused and alive from beginning to end.  From the first notes of Still (I) this is a captivating listen.  Gone are the long, drawn out instrumental moments that fractured the debut release and in their place is a more focused, dense sound which highlights just how far Knox and Irving have come in the past 4 years.  And without belittling the contribution of Irving I do believe that the experience Knox has gained from working with artists such as Sleepingdog and producing albums of his own as A-Sun Amissa and The Rustle of the Stars has helped shape and focus the sound of Glissando.  Of course, Irving’s vocal makes it stand out from the rest, makes sure it is a Glissando record and set apart, but the focus and understanding of structure and sequence that, for me, was missing on the debut is here in abundance.

A wonderful listen from start to finish, Glissando save the best for last with the simply stunning finale of Still (II) – a reaction to record opener Still (I) and one of the most sublime bits of song writing this year.  The rest of the record is littered with moments of stunning beauty and unlik e its predecessor this is a record that will be on the stereo time and again at any time of day.  I cannot wait to see how it translates live.   If four years seems like a long time for fans to wait for a second record I’d argue that the time it has taken and the musical adventures Knox and Irving have had in that time have been essential to producing a brilliant record that shows a mature and focused edge pushing Glissando on and delivering on the obvious potential of the first record in sublime fashion.  This is the sound of band who really understand who they are and where they want to go.

You can and should check out Glissando here.