There is no beat to hold “Fading Blue” down. The tremolo guitars melt together like distinctive cloud shapes pressing into eachother, while a simple chord progression grows warm with resolutory anticipation. It’s a landscape too rich to be real, like a meadows whose green hurts the eyes as much as sunlight, and the reverb gives each instrument the haze of imminent disappearance. Such a utopian swell can only sustain itself in the imagination for so long.
Such enough, the next two tracks depict the process of the colour draining out. The lone piano of “Gentle” is simple, as though lethargy won’t permit it to be anything but: a two-note pendulum swing in the left hand, tear droplets of melody in the right. “To Go Back” finds elegance in sadness as three guitars kiss and dovetail like kaleidoscope reflections. Thornton’s melodic tongue is a rich and intimate form of pop – a cinema score in a snowglobe – as “These Echoes” brings optimism and stability back to a listener teetering on the brink, with piano and guitar harmonising like petals curling away from eachother. There’s no eruptive climax, no blaze of fireworks; just a pulsating scent of resumed serenity, or a smile starting to twitch in the corners of a mouth.