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robinguthrie pearldiving
Artist: Robin Guthrie
Title: Pearldiving
Genre: Shoegaze / Alternative / Post Punk / Dream Pop
Release Date: 12th November 2021
Label: Soleil Après Minuit

Album Review

‘Pearldiving’ is Robin Guthrie’s first album release on his own since 2012’s ‘Fortune’ although he has released works in collaboration with the likes of the late Harold Budd and Mark Gardener and he released the ‘Mockingbird Love’ EP back in October as a taster for this release. Robin Guthrie has a style of working and sound that is easily recognisable from his days with the COCTEAU TWINS. This new album sounds both familiar and different at the same time. If you liken it to a painted piece of art it’s both layered, textured and spaced and complex but simple, if you get my meaning?

‘Ivy’ is easy. A more refined sound that has the signature Guthrie flourishes but they feel a little restrained at first. But then the bass, you know it’s Robin Guthrie when you hear the bass! ‘Castaway’ bubbles and froths and intermingles warm flowing liquids. Metallic silks in blues and copper billow and then the thick resonance of the bass kicks in and meanders through like a feline woman sashaying her butt in a knowing manner. ‘On The Trail Of Grace’ elicited faces that appear around translucent curtains. There’s an easy sway and flow to this. The guitar has a watery warble to it whilst the bass sustains itself over four beats...

‘Les Amourettes’ carries on in a similar vein but with a punchy bass that feel like a mouth cavity expanded to a cavernous size and excreting out the rounded sound. This does not last long before ‘Euphemia’ kicks in, in the same slow bubbly cogitated way all the while a low sustained texture sways and spreads in the background. Again, the bass cuts a path through like a voice, but this time like a hum, the tongue embedded firmly in the roof of the mouth.

‘Oceanaire’ is COCTEAU TWINS and southern blues due to the steel guitar feel. The keyboard notes, thoughtful. 80 seconds in though there is a passage that sounds familiar, I cannot place where I’ve heard it! ‘Presence’ is again COCTEAU TWINS. The bass goes down the scale in a PEARLY DEWDROPS DROPS manner. ‘Kerosine’ is a bit ‘Blade Runner’ soundtrack, it reminds of that scene in ‘Blade Runner 2049’ at the end where K gives Deckard the horse sculpture before he lies down on the snow-covered step. Neon lights and rain, a sea of umbrellas but the rain is kerosene. The shining light through the drops brings out the petrochemical colours. The vibe carries over into the ‘The Amber Room’ I follow the bass like I'm stepping on paving stones inserted with fluorescent lights that flash on when I tap out the bass rhythms. An E-bow takes on the roll as a handrail…

This album is very easy listening in a “light up a spliff” kind of way and it certainly takes my mind off of whatever garbage I was pondering over. It gets more COCTEAU TWINS near the end with the familiar guitar effects but sans Liz Frazer. The middle is more of something else, some other and the beginning flicks COCTEAU illusions at you like a memory tease! In summary you get what get with Robin Guthrie, he has a style and a way of working that is not only unique to him but is easily recognisable to the listener who’s in the know. He knows what he likes to create and I know what I want to listen to. All’s good! And then my headphones run out of juice just at the fade out!


01. Ivy
02. Ouestern
03. Castaway
04. On The Trail Of Grace
05. Les Amourettes
06. Euphemia
07. Oceanaire
08. Presence
09. Kerosine
10. The Amber Room


Robin Guthrie - All Instruments


Cover Picture

robinguthrie pearldiving


Music: 8
Sound: 8
Total: 8 / 10

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