slow dancing society - priest lake circa 88

  • Cat No : hsr036
  • Label : Hidden Shoal
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Slow Dancing Society’s stunning third album “Priest Lake Circa ‘88” is now re-issued by Hidden Shoal along with “The Sound of Lights When Dim” and “The Slow and Steady Winter”. Following on from the ice-sculpted cinematics of the critically praised “The Slow and Steady Winter”, “Priest Lake Circa ’88” is Drew Sullivan’s finest work to date. In essence, it is the second part of a double album that began with “The Slow and Steady Winter”, acting as a long-distance conclusion to the double album’s narrative arc. “Priest Lake Circa ’88” exudes restraint and repose, yet is so richly melodic and full. While the album draws its raw form from ambient music, post rock and even dream pop, it is masterfully crafted into something that could only ever find itself under the Slow Dancing Society moniker. The album speaks of both departure and eventual return, and perhaps in its broadest sense the notion of “home”. Above all, this is music to bathe in: warm, steamy and all-encompassing.

“It’s been a joy to watch Drew Sullivan’s career unfold as majestically as one of his compositions… Dedicated to the music that shaped him as an individual, Sullivan pays homage to those he loves, incorporating fragments of New Romanticism, Art-Rock and even ’80s Metal within the gorgeous expanses of drifting guitar-based ambience… Rather than imposing sun-bursting melodies upon the listener, they are allowed to breathe, as volume swells provide the dynamic movement and direction throughout… Though headphones should be a pre-requisite for this record, Priest Lake still radiates with melody, colour and texture even when played at its lowest volume. Sullivan delicately balances his love of all things ’80s with the luscious reverbed ambience we’ve become accustomed to, without ever sounding indulgent. Within these eight floating gems, drones sublimate into melody and elegiac clouds form celestial sounds, to compose a rousing soundtrack for nostalgic daydreams.” - Angry Ape

“Slow Dancing Society has a complexity of sound that allows it to stand out from traditionally ambient music… It would be quite difficult to convince someone that Priest Lake Circa ‘88 is not an ambient album, but it has a progression that is often lost; this music has taken a turn away from the conventional ambient genre. It is easy to get dissolved in this album, to let yourself fall into meditation as the music plays… Textures and timbre are executed with great precision… Even the simplest of songs allow complimentary textures to be layered upon each other to create a robust yet spacious sound. The thickest of compositions carry multi-timbral ideas over a wide range of melodies. Guitar is layered upon found sound, effect-laden synths, organs, and other texturally rich instruments. This makes for an album that is an aural delight for the listener. Priest Lake Circa ‘88, while labeled ambient, has its own identity that lets it stand out as a unique album in a sea of homogeneity. Ambient listeners will like this album, while ambient haters would do well to give this album a listen…” – The Silent Ballet


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