I can’t remember how I came about receiving “Storm Petrel” by David Lawrie but I am so glad I did. The music on this EP is a wonderfully vibrant & welcomed breath of fresh air. I don’t have anything quite like it in rotation at the moment except, possible, Peter Gabriel … but we’ll come to that.
The music & instrumentation presented is delightfully obtuse … dense walls-of-sound that envelope the listener & transport them to an alternate reality … a magical realm where Lawrie is both poet and prophet.
The title track – ‘Storm Petrel’ – has its main melody played on dulcimer & glockenspiel … it is underpinned by big, powerful synths & a pound percussive track … percussion that includes loops of found-sounds like squeaky floorboards. It is a decidedly euphoric track that both enhances & is enhanced by Lawrie‘s eloquent & masterful vocal deliver.
Next up is ‘Feline’ which starts sparingly with a violin playing dissonant chords … a sound that underpins Lawrie‘s heartfelt & mournful expression.
I had a moment of pure elation when I heard the instrumentation explode in my consciousness … more dulcimer but this time with the violin & some powerful beats.
Lawrie’s then takes the piece & makes it his own with further poetic delivery … a delivery that reminded me, at times, of Peter Gabriel … and from Gabriel fan like me, that’s the highest form of flattery.
The last track – ‘Liquorice Root’ – starts off spartan-like, grabbing the attention with more dulcimer & introducing manipulated sounds to mix … sounds that continue into the track. The track features an electronic percussive track … in combination with the dulcimer. It’s a truly beautiful sound … which is, again, enhanced by Lawrie’s searching & warm vocal delivery.
Overall, I found “Storm Petrel” to be a worthwhile listening experience … one that stirred the heart whilst entertaining the mind with vivid word-pictures. I could quite happily listen to the music on its on … the instrumentation contained within being something of wonder. However, with the addition of Lawrie’s vocals, something beautiful is formed … something magical and unique … something it is hard not to love.
Overall I would give the EP 8 out of 10 … marking it down simply as a result of its length – it is too short & leaves me wanting more. I look forward to what David Lawrie has to offer next.