‘Light Through Open Blinds’ is the newest full-length from Lincolnshire, UK based artist, Spheruleus (aka Harry Towell). The album was created as a kind of sonic journal, as Towell strived to document the sounds of his house after he and his wife became home owners in September 2016. These experiments have lead to one of the most catchy, personal, and homespun albums of his career.
Towell’s Spheruleus project has explored a wide array of musical moods over the years. A particular favorite of ours was his 2015 release, ‘Peripheres’ for Eilean Records. That album crept into our hearts with its intimate acoustic instrumentation and liberal use of head-nodding micro rhythms, seemingly constructed from every found sound at his disposal including the kitchen sink. When Spheruleus first shared this approach, it came to us with an instant dose of nostalgia, reminiscent of the heyday of electro-acoustic bedroom oddities during the late 90’s/early 2000’s. That time period introduced us to acts and labels like The Remote Viewer, Xela, City Centre Offices, Skyphone, Moteer and many more, which served as huge inspiration in the formation of Lost Tribe Sound.
Upon first hearing, ‘Light Through Open Blinds’ we were astounded by the intricate detail Towell was able to pour into each composition. Towell gave a great deal of thought to every aspect of the album, even the track names draw influence from a particular object, street, room or event from in and around his home and the sounds are all made from house-hold articles, chance happenings, acoustic instruments and vinyl samples. The bulk of the melody was made using instruments as sound sources, with the main two being an old out of tune piano at a local village pub in which he works occasionally and a 30 year old guitar handed down to him by his dad. Though other instrumentation takes center stage from time to time including zither, violin, harmonica, glockenspiel, bugle and bongo drums.
Much of the record sees Towell’s style veer away from electro-acoustic drones in favor of a lo-fi sound similar to that of ‘Peripheres’. Knowing how much we loved ‘Peripheres’ lead to conversations of Towell and LTS working together on the new album. Towell began sending LTS completed versions of each song as he worked, along with his thoughts and processes behind them. Typically, a new song would arrive each month or so as ‘Light Through Open Blinds’ took shape.
Spheruleus has created something extraordinary, intelligent, and honest with ‘Light Through Open Blinds’. It elevates the work of early contemporaries in the genre. With Towell’s keen sense of melody, space and rhythm, the album fuses elements of lo-fi, downtempo, jazz, electronic and ambient into an unabashed and cohesive whole.