Five years after Of the Sea and Shore, Low Point label head Gareth Hardwick returns with his latest solo release, Two Songs. Employing the same minimal palette of guitar and field recordings but now drawing upon urban, rather than coastal themes; Two Songs is iron, brick and dark asphalt in response to the grey-blue swell and salt wind of Of the Sea and Shore.
Side A is built around a buzzing drone, an arc light on concrete, which by degrees dissolves to an autumnal hiss; that low, constant mixture of rain, distant traffic and human life which sits just below the threshold of consciousness for anyone living in a city framed by spare, untreated guitar. The same drone, now dulled and ragged, reappears on Side B as a coda to a gently oscillating wash of interwoven harmonics.
Small shifts in texture, timbre and dynamics are concisely entwined to create an atmospheric and evocative EP. With a continued focus on sustained tension and negative space as a compositional element, Two Songs represents further refinement of Hardwick's restrained style.