Thistle Sifter – ‘Circles’

Serene post-rock guitar work and spacey synth ambience converge on Circles, an alluring new album from Thistle Sifter. The project represents the work of English musician Pete Barnes, with the album itself deriving from the artist’s struggles in recent years — specifically a cycling accident that took place in November 2020, prompting introspection and re-assessing.

Opening track “Coming Home” captivates with its lush unveiling. Starry-eyed synth pads emanate a spacious caressing, sounding fit as a soundtrack for otherworldly explorations. “Morning Has Broken” follows with a similarly compelling illumination, evoking a ghostly sort of sci-fi introduction that weaves beautifully into serene guitar trickles. Atmosphere is abundant throughout Circles, and the opening one-two punch does well in showing as such.

The album continues with a consistently strong production. “Forlorn” resembles the opening efforts in tone, working from space-set synth ambiance into dream-pop guitar lines. Elsewhere, “To Kingdom Come” emphasizes gentle acoustic tones alongside twangy reflections. The closing “Nothing To See Here” is a satiating send-off, once again emphasizing the project’s knack for patiently evolving soundscapes; Circles presents a ravishing range of soundscapes.

“Coming Home” and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Emerging Singles’ Spotify playlist.

We discovered this release via MusoSoup, as part of the artist’s promotional campaign.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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