The vulnerable soundtrack to a person’s self-discovery...

There is delicate warmth to 'Geist's textured ruminations. A modern re-working of the long-preserved nylon-stringed folk tradition, as Shannon Lay seeks transcendence in the solace of the natural world - observing wild suns and bright stars whilst traversing the seasons of her own conjured placeless environment.

For much of the record, Lay opts for minimalist pastoral tones which she imbues with a light-touching, formless, sonic landscape - always underpinned by a softly picked acoustic melody at its heart. A dreamy haze in which Lay searches for her escape – “I have to get out of California” Lay sings on ‘Awaken And Allow’. A track that leans heavily on traditional folk balladry, laying her voice bare without backing, before the taut introduction of long broad droning strings. It’s this sense of escapism and longing for a greater sense of self that permeates ‘Geist’. “You may not see the same shores as I but I’ll smile and imagine” she sings on early single ‘A Thread to Find’ before concluding “you’re on your own, but not alone”. A statement of strength as Lay tends to the wounds of her past.

Unsettling at times, with moments of quiet intensity – ‘Geist’ is the vulnerable soundtrack to a person’s self-discovery during a period of long, hard reflection.

7/10

Words: Rory Marchum

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