Every now and again you are confronted with the unwelcome news, that a band you have come to cherish and respect, have decided to call it a day.
Such was the case recently with Formes – I had been eagerly awaiting a vinyl release date for their debut album ‘Dysphoria Part 1‘, only to be deflated with an unexpected announcement, signalling the end of the band.
At the time, I prophetically commented that “the phoenix will rise again” – so certain was I, that the fire in these guys would not remain dormant for long. The simmering energy in Formes’ performance at 2014’s Liverpool Psych Fest, a clear indicator for me, of the restless spirits within.
Steven McNamara is one third of Formes, ‘Wake Up Lie Down’ marks his welcome return, and his departure into solo territory.
Steven’s Media Release informs us, “He has since moved to an expansive part of rural Lancashire which has influenced his music. His solo material, whilst still retaining elements of psychedelia, combines blues, soul and jazz with its feet firmly rooted in melancholia that could almost soundtrack the barren and open landscape he finds on his front door.”
One of the enduring facets of what Formes were all about, was their elusive quality, they were a band who defied easy categorisation – this is an ingredient which Steven, thankfully appears to have packed firmly into his departing knapsack.
Title track, ‘Wake Up Lie Down’, is an irresistible slice of dreampop whimsy, it’s ‘Through the Looking Glass’ vocals, underpinned by a lush, embracive production; ‘Turn Around’, showcases an accomplished acoustic aura, steeped in melancholic ebullience; ‘Lost in Myself’, casts it’s deliberate spell, tip-toeing amidst introspective shadows; ‘So Low’, conjures measured ascendent grandeur, plucked from the ashes of bitter disappointment; Closing track, ‘Voices’, completes the circle, the ripple effect pushing the concentric boundaries, heralding a tangential triumph…
‘Wake Up Lie Down’, displays sensual, low-key, richly textured chromatic washes, it soothes and comforts, whilst gently ironing the creases from your brow.
‘Wake Up Lie Down’, was recorded, mixed and mastered at Steven’s own studio, he is also behind the artwork. The digital album is available now from iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and bandcamp.