Enduring the emotional abyss with breathtaking elegance on his debut EP, UK artist THE SPECTRAL QUIET serves a wonderful rarity of a record that doesn’t bore and offers a glorious experience beyond expectations. “Descension Hymns” is a 31-minute collection of five ambitious, thoughtfully conceived and tightly performed tracks that will surely make to your playlist of best post rock offerings of the year.
“Gritty and bleak yet enveloping, and is ideal for fans of This Will Destroy You” – @postrock.instrumental
For fans of Caspian, This Will Destroy You and Lowercase Noises.
Asked about the creative process behind “Descension Hymns”, Sean Tucker-Clemens, the man behind the project commented: “In March 2020 approximately 1 week before the UK COVID lockdown began I sketched out the bare bones of what would become the first track of this EP. It sparked a somewhat unprecedented burst of energy and creativity that I haven’t experienced in a long time and I knew that I couldn’t leave lockdown without having at least these songs to show for it.”
“The songs themselves have inevitably been inspired by the current state of affairs and originally I even toyed with the idea of naming the EP ‘The Quarantine Tapes’, however as time has progressed it’s become more and more blatant that these songs reflect much more than that, both on a personal level and hopefully an impersonal one too.”
𝑇ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑟𝑒𝑐𝑜𝑟𝑑 𝑖𝑠 𝑖𝑛 𝑒𝑞𝑢𝑎𝑙 𝑝𝑎𝑟𝑡𝑠 ℎ𝑒𝑎𝑣𝑦, 𝑠𝑜𝑓𝑡, 𝑙𝑜𝑢𝑑, 𝑞𝑢𝑖𝑒𝑡, 𝑓𝑎𝑠𝑡 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑠𝑙𝑜𝑤. 𝑇ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑒 𝑎𝑟𝑒 𝑚𝑜𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑠 𝑡𝑜 𝑏𝑎𝑛𝑔 𝑦𝑜𝑢𝑟 ℎ𝑒𝑎𝑑, 𝑚𝑜𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑠 𝑡𝑜 𝑟𝑒𝑓𝑙𝑒𝑐𝑡, 𝑚𝑜𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑠 𝑡𝑜 𝑐𝑟𝑦 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑚𝑜𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑠 𝑡𝑜 𝑠𝑚𝑖𝑙𝑒. 𝐼𝑡 𝑤𝑖𝑙𝑙 𝑑𝑒𝑓𝑖𝑛𝑖𝑡𝑒𝑙𝑦 𝑝𝑢𝑡 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑡ℎ𝑟𝑜𝑢𝑔ℎ 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑒𝑚𝑜𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑎𝑙 𝑤𝑟𝑖𝑛𝑔𝑒𝑟.
The title track and it definitely gives that ‘descending’ vibe. I watched Caspian’s ‘Circles On Circles’ documentary one night during lockdown, felt super inspired and mapped out this entire song the next day. Kicks off with those eerie violin textures and then just stays at 11 the whole way through. The outro is probably my favourite moment on the whole record.
2. Isolation Blues
Written peak lockdown hence the title. I wanted to write something really minimal that didn’t require too many layers in order to be emotive, I think I achieved that. Brutal drum sounds throughout thanks to Tom Gilbert’s heavy hitting.
3. Santa Muerte
We’ve fully descended and we’re in hell. This is definitely the darkest moment on the EP and probably the heaviest. I suppose I wanted to make people feel uncomfortable. There is a curvature to the whole record which I think is largely due to this song being right at the centre of it, it continues on the same dark path as ‘Isolation Blues’ for a while until it reaches that hopeful resolve at the end which carries nicely into track four. I had just watched David Farrier’s ‘Dark Tourist’ on Netflix which is where the ‘Santa Muerte’ reference comes from, it seemed fitting.
4. Clarity and Permanence
The first song I wrote for the EP and the last song I finished. This song definitely set the tone for the entire record and all of the various moods I was feeling can be summed up with this one.
5. For As Long As I Last
A straight homage to ‘Young Mountain’ era This Will Destroy You and I’m not even afraid to admit it.