Like a beautiful jewel at the bottom of a swamp, I see the songs of Hide Before Dinner gleaming and rippling, dimmed by the obfuscating soup of mud and liquid. Guitars jangle despondently (with sudden, impermanent updrafts of optimism) beneath the gelatinous translucency of chorus and dolloped reverb. Voices climb like the tendrils of liquid flora, swaying too beautifully to deserve the sad fate of being saturated in such murk. The songs are gorgeous, and even more so for maintaining their glimmer in the advent of being neglected and left to erode – the beauty of Hide Before Dinner is an innate reflex rather than exhibition for the attention of others, immune to the demoralisation of sonic ill treatment.
When instruments echo, they do so through darkness and the vacuum of solitude. The weird strands of synthesiser and processed voice on “Tantrum Time” surge through empty space and splash against an unseen back wall, moving in strange jerks that tell of the warping effects of social isolation. Meanwhile, the loose strums of both the title track and “Blissfull Cubby House” unravel like the body and mind during sleep, tossing between two chords, nudged into rotation by the bass guitar that prods rhythmically from beneath. There’s an emotional excavation involved in listening to Hide Before Dinner; prising apart the secrets of low-fidelity and analogue grub, summoning the ghosts of crackle and primitive guitar delays that exist banished from the universe of the pristine. Underneath the façade of obscurity resides an endlessly meticulous web of voice, noise and melodic event: a backstory winding out from within the tonality of sadness, a burdening heartbreak weathering F Ingers’ reels of tape.