Review: Savaran – Halcyon Days

Just how human memory restructures our perception of places and events into a sensory essence pricked with a few protrusive sonic characteristics, Mark Walters summarises experience into a soft tilting cloud of atmosphere – a pale, vague recollection of amalgamated thought and emotion, rendering tangible that strange concept of a place’s personality – along with a few flashes of immaculately revived sonic object: that unforgettable clang of church bells, that disturbing rustle beneath the floorboards that still haunts the present subconscious as vividly as its corporeal ancestor in the past, that unusual breeze that seemed to carry a faint, phantom choir on its breath, capturing nature, listener mindset and psychoacoustics in a moment of miraculous collision.

The EP is based on visits to several UK spots (Cornwall, Snowdonia) during winter. The season is undoubtedly the record’s constant; there is a rigidness in spite of the music’s streaming movements, crafting a harmonic tension that feels destined to give way, and is only escalated by the panic that materialises when resolve never comes. Guitar floats down the centre – unguided but unstoppable too, like a memory that recurrently returns to the forefront of the mind unwilled – as either melody swerving away from definition (“Soljourn”) or as an exhalation of guitar feedback drooling strangely congruent noise (“Finding The Space To Breathe”). Meanwhile, pangs of instant and definitive field recordings slip in and out of the pool of reminiscence, tugging the record gently back into the past as if it were the present again.