So this is goodbye. After The Field Mice (1987-1991) and Northern Picture Library (1993-1995), now it's the turn of Trembling Blue Stars (1996-2011), once again Bobby Wratten closed the door, and this time with en EP available in both digital format and a limited orange 10" vinyl edition.
The cover picture (signed by Runar Magnusson) is quite dark and funerary and the two first tracks follow such direction. The first one is a 12 minutes composition by Robert Hampson (Loop, Main) which remixes two tracks from their previous album "Fast Trains And Telegraph Wires" into one song, "The Light Outside". It's an experimental reworking entirely in the hands of Robert Hampson.
It's a strange way to start a Trembling Blue Stars record but considering it's their last one, it really plays nicely the mourning tribute role. It is directly followed by an even darker instrumental interlude which is not particularly remarkable.
Serious things occur during the second part of this EP. "Sunrise on Mars" is one more perfect song to add at their impressive list, with an always surprising ease, melancholic and moving vocals by Bobby Wratten, addictive beats and e-bow guitar sounds and synth pads coloring the background. Really marvelous and entrancing.
The second jewel of this EP is the fourth track, a cover of Wire, "Kidney Bingos" with shared vocals by Beth Arzy (previously of Aberdeen) and Caesar McInulty (The Wake, The Occasional Keepers), irresistible.
The next song try to escape the usual aesthetics direction. Looking towards Mazzy Star, "A field at dusk" develops pleasant pensive explorations at first, which slowly becomes wilder but without succumbing to stormy weather, and yes mixing hot and cold water always achieve tedious results.
Much more seductive, on “A Spell of Songs”, they choose not to leave their foggy and rainy climate, for a perfect introspective result and I look forward listening to this song next autumn, while the colored leaves will be falling.
"Correspondence" doesn't look like the last work of a resigning band, as there is no sign of lassitude and three of these songs are even keepers. Instead, I'm suddenly overcome by vertigo when I realize that I first heard of Bobby Wratten just twenty years ago, in July 1991, with the wonderful single "September's no so far away", and "Sunrise on Mars" on this ep is as sharp and as moving, achieving similar effect, if there was no passing of time.