Life’s Forgotten Dream review

Reviewed by Mark Barton here:

Latest from the much admired Small Bear sound shed of whom I must admit, have either been very quiet this year or else their email updates have disappeared into some hitherto undiscovered folder I’m yet to accidentally trip over.

This is a tinsel tied twin set from Simon Waldram entitled ‘life’s forgotten dream’ here in both its optional dark and light variants. Passively psych-y, the more radiant selection here features the ethereal choral caress of Emzae on guest vocals, stilled in a majestic framing and kissed with a hazing dream drifted haloing, this slice of frost tipped twilight toned hushed intimacy is ghosted with the kind of woozy magic land mercurial whereupon peering through its shadowy apertures both Keith Seatman and Nick Nicely emerge into clear focus as points of reference as were under the guiding influence of a late 70’s era Peter Gabriel.

It’s all hauntingly beautiful, much like a nightly visitation, irresistibly beguiling. Over to the flip the same track though rephrased on this occasion as the ominous sounding ‘many elephants dark drone mix’.

Not quite the unsettling eerie you might have expected, instead something emerges here that’s more in tone to those very excellent A Year in the Country accounts, stripped to its barest essential, its assumes a dark hymnal aura whose monochrome hollowed echo draws deep from the shadow lands of Paul Roland. 

Insolation review

Brian Bordello, July 29, 2018

Originally published in slightly different form at:

Albums you need to hear:
Simon Waldram – Insolation

Listen to Insolation here

This LP was self released in 2016 on Simon Waldram’s Bandcamp page – and it deserved (and in fact still deserves) to reach a much wider audience. I do not really understand why a label did not snap this up for it certainly is a commercial enough and with the right backing and publicity could have easily crossed over to a wider audience. But what do I know? If I like it there must be something dark and slightly off kilter about it and there certainly is. There’s a beautiful dark melancholy running throughout the whole LP but a very beautiful magical darkness that not many can write. There are songs worthy of The Go-Betweens on this fine LP If you took track three ‘Car Glass Window’ and placed it on any of the Go Betweens albums it would not be out of place on any of them.

There are so many fine songs on this 20 track LP – yes 20 tracks! And not one of them you could call filler, from the beautiful psych folk of Dandelion and Resenah to the Mary Chain indie pop of ‘Alone In Berlin’ and the Red House Painters-like ‘Barely Even Here’.

It gets me so fucking annoyed actually listening to this record because it is so bloody good and that I have to write about it under the title “An album you need to hear”. There should be no bloody need as every music lover should already have heard it and have a copy in their collection – and not just on download either, but on a double vinyl with gatefold sleeve with lyric sheet to read as you listen. Some record label should pounce on this and put this wrong right and give it a chance. Everybody deserves the chance to hear this LP…even if they are A CUNT.

  1. Life's Forgotten Dream [feat. Emzae] Simon Waldram 3:42
  2. Resenah [feat. Emzae] Simon Waldram 3:03
  3. Inside Out Simon Waldram 3:44
  4. Revolution Summer Simon Waldram 3:06
  5. Aim For Me Simon Waldram 2:38
  6. Colliding Circles Simon Waldram 3:14
  7. Thermal Girl Simon Waldram 3:12
  8. Corte Sus Neumanticos Simon Waldram 2:55