Lomond Campbell – Under This Hunger Moon We Fell

A fascinating album dominated by light and shade...

Lomond Campbell has been making music for about a decade, but his name isn’t as prevalent as you’d expect despite releasing music on Chemikal Underground, SA Recordings, and One Little Independent.
This is, hopefully, about to change as his final part in a trilogy album, is here.

‘Under This Hunger Moon We Fell’ opens with subtle piano keys. These grow, but also reduce, to
create something eerie, but familiar. It recalls the work of The Caretaker, M. Baptista Benedict,
Ojeras da Damita, and William Basinski. This is in part because they all work on themed loops and
degrading them to create these fractured, but luscious, textured soundscapes.

As ‘Bastard Wing’ continues the piano is replaced by delicate, almost searing, synths. This becomes the focus of the track, though the piano is never that far away. This is a clever start to ‘Under This Hunger Moon We Fell’ as it welcomes us in gently and sets the disjointed tone of the album. ‘Phonon For No One’ is more of the same, but slightly more abrasive and caustic; all the pleasant shine of ‘Bastard Wing’ has been removed and we’re left with something slightly uncomfortable instead.

This uncomfortable feeling is really what the album is about. How we can be having a personally nice day, but something comes across our path and its hard to deal with – in a moment, your day is thrown off. Around the half-way mark some strings explode from the speakers. Under them is a rhythmic beat. This, coupled with what we’ve already heard, creates an interesting experience. There is such beauty, and elegance, in the strings it takes you back, but the backing track is so desolate is brings me back to the caustic feeling of the opening salvo. Its clever stuff. What’s cleverer is that Campbell pulls it off.

‘Alters’ closes the album with a pulsating bassline. It brings to mind 80s film scores, and their contemporary pastiches, where you know, everything is building to a climax. Instead of something abrasive or cataclysmic, on ‘Alters’ that is an outro that is filled with hope and anticipation that levels us with a happy feeling of contentment, or at least, hope for the future.

Overall ‘Under This Hunger Moon We Fell’ is a sombre listen. That isn’t to say that is it doesn’t have its share of upbeat, poppy moments. It does. The optimism oozes out of ‘Even Songbirds Suffer’, for example. However, there is a pang of desolation, nestling at the back constantly. This is what makes ‘Under This Hunger Moon We Fell’ a fascinating listen. Throughout the 10 tracks Campbell tries to balance these themes: one of joyful positivity, the other of harrowing pain. He mostly succeeds, but the dark themes are dominant. This is an album to lose yourself in its neo-classic charm, but also to ponder its ruinous rhythms. After playing the album a good dozen times I’m still not sure what to make of it, but I do look forward to playing it again, after some time has passed, to see what new insights it has to offer.


Words: Nick Roseblade

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