Graham Richardson's Last Days project returns with it's latest full-length The Safety of the North. Richardson has fully embraced his cinematic tendencies, expanding his creative palette to include spoken excerpts, a vocal collaboration with Fabiola Sanchez of Familiar Trees, and a "script-based" compositional approach. Drawing on a theme first explored in Sea's "Arrival at Jan Mayen" (in which its sailor is first excited by the prospect of a distant island home, then disappointed by its barren terrain), The Safety of the North tells the story of Alice, her parents and their relocation to a remote northern land. Disappointed with the trappings of the city, they wish for a simpler, more rewarding way of life. Their arrival promises clean air, miles of snow covered fields surrounded by forests and mountains but above all, safety and a protected existence. As dark as it is light, the Safety Of The North explores relationships, loss, recovery and how hope is the only certainty in life.. With a strict script in mind, Richardson divided the album into 15 "scenes," scoring each with a new focus on the emotional states of his characters and the settings they inhabit. Using the same tools he employs on his previous albums (i.e. field recordings, song titles, and album art), along with snippets of dialogue, monologue and more diverse instrumentation, Richardson guides the listener through Alice's initial departure, hopeful beginnings and eventual tragedy in what may be Last Days most melodic work to date.
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