A Heart in the Stillness, “When I Finally Reach the Sea”

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A Heart in the Stillness is the solo project of longtime Seattle punk scene staple Isaac Aubrey. On his own, he creates neofolk that acknowledges darkness while refusing to wallow in it. It’s mature in outlook, if a bit colder in its execution. It finds ways to navigate an unpleasant existence rather than become entrenched in its own angst. “When I finally reach the sea / and it washes over me / I’ll drift with all that’s come and gone / lost a mask I’ve held so long,” he sings on “When I Finally Reach the Sea”, the first single from his forthcoming record From Here We’ll Watch the Dawn. “We are all marching home / together … all alone,” he continues, speaking to common experiences of faith, knowing that there is be more out there for which all people yearn, yet that circumstances dictate we can only do so alone. What keeps the song from being self reflexively mawkish is the simple switch from “I” to “we” as singular fears effortlessly become cultural angst that binds us together.

The song draws the listener to a song of expectation and longing. Complimented by its audible ambient hiss, complimentary guitars, and cold, cutting synths, the song contains many elements familiar to the fans of the folk genre; minimal guitar deployed in an almost percussive mode, a detached if still humanistic observation of the world, while also being complimented by techniques and tools used modern, darker practitioners in the folk tradition. For fans of similar acts such as Current 93, Chelsea Wolfe, or Swans, there is a lot to like in these four minutes.

Made with the assistance of Noah Landis on mastering, From Here We’ll Watch the Dawn will be out via Nostalgium Directive, available digitally or on a limited to 300 copies vinyl. The vinyl features a screen printed matte-finish jacket with a polylined inner sleeve, a double-sided, poster-sized insert and a download code.