It is suiting that the writing for this album began in a basement under a busy main roadway in London, England. As the din of life above roared on, the lush escape of Hawser was unfolding, and it is escape that comes to mind as I digest this music. It is meditative and sometimes sombre, at other times filling the senses with tiny glimmers of hope, bringing to mind those self inflicted periods of isolation and the introspection they can bring. The searching for “I” and the loneliness of living within a speedy modern life. The pain of failed relationships and how the language between us changes when we part.
Known as Arliston, this east London trio, comprised of George Hasbury (keys/guitar/backing vocals, Jordi Bosch (drums/synth/backing vocals), and Jack Ratcliffe (guitar/lead vocals), rose from the ashes of fallings out with former bandmates and other trials into their current incarnation, and if the organically fitting and natural sound they play with is any indication of a right fit, than I’d say all has come together beautifully. In listening I get shades of Radiohead at their most ambient, The National, and a weighty vocal influence of Justin Vernon to keep things romantic and flowing smoothly.
“Paralysed”, the second track on Hawser is easily some of the most exquisite music I’ve heard in a while. It is sexy as hell, with the dreamiest of vocals and guitar textures that creep up my spine like cold fingers leading to a blissful warming sensation in the brain, while “Language of Strangers” is deceptive in that it holds a beautiful form but once the lyrics become clear you realize that it is a song about the growing distance between exes and how difficult it can be.
Music like this is cathartic. The sound alone creeps into your skin and creates a ripple effect throughout the body. It’s like sound vibrational healing, and the lyrical content provide stories that are easily relatable, whether it be a breakup, the search for meaning, or the mind in a whirl from living in a thriving metropolis. Indeed, Arliston have created something lovely and honest with this debut and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for this talented trio
~ Nathan Pike