Clodagh Simonds’ Fovea Hex are but one of the numerous indications of time fading out too rapidly for this irascible scribbler. It really seems like yesterday, as Die Stadt’s honcho Jochen Schwarz disclosed the project to the world; the relative quietude across which the releases came out over the years represented a validation of the depth of the purpose. Notwithstanding the prestigious collaborators – also present here – this remains a small island of rarefaction: we can lay ourselves down, inhale fresh air, and start imagining. Or not. Finely crafted tracks expressing an artist’s idiosyncrasy in a distinct and concise way, as ethereal as the outcome may appear to the ears.
The Salt Garden comprises everything expectable from Simonds and her fellow travelers. Diaphanous harmonies, charming arrangements, consistent lyricism. Without necessarily searching for meanings, the music has its own manner of conveying them. Between the portrayal of chimerical domains and a means for gently rupturing a protracted silence, these songs propound an aesthetic of reticence rarely found nowadays. The inexplicable allure of a person who smiles knowingly, but does not betray any feeling; the linearity of melodies that don’t require convolutions and enigmas to suggest a correspondence with another extent of perception. And – speaking from a listener’s perspective – the trust in musicians who are not interested in fueling the ego, a joint acoustic projection thriving in cloistered reverberation.
Consequently, no actual comparison is conceivable; we’re just content with mere glimpses of faraway realities. The coalescence of restrained electronics, undraped chords and layered voices induces palliating consequences, pointing us towards the place where a song reclaims his status of “piece of sonic poetry”. As opposed to the huge deficiencies of pseudo-intellectual redundancy, Simonds and cohorts remind us of the ability of concocting a tune – even a very simple one – as a veritable form of art.