If Olafur Arnolds composed a Christopher Nolan film.
‘Polarity’ feels like a soundtrack to a film that hasn’t been written. Finish composer Arttu Silvast wrote his debut album ‘Polarity’ to the narrative of a 19th Century ship leaving a harbour and sailing north into the polar regions. The result is a collection of songs that manage to start off classical and embark on a post-rock journey before returning back to harbour again. It is a journey for both artist and listener.
The title track is a great example of the scope of just a song. ‘Polarity’ starts off as a piano and string piece that is taking place under muffled production. Soon more strings and drums are added in before it hits a dramatic middle section. Huge guitars burst in and we transition into a post-rock epic sun blast. The strings, brass and guitar cry out like champions only for the track to return back to a quiet honky-tonk piano. All in three and a half minutes.
This kind of genre-hopping is exactly what makes Arttu Silvast stand out. If it is the ambient piano and field recordings of water on ‘Glacier Bay’ or the symphonic synth jazz of ‘Sabertooth’ – Arttu doesn’t sit still. Electronica is pulled in with the chill out euphoria of ‘Sea Stingers’ where piano arpeggiators mix with vocal snips and icy drums. ‘Maris Tenebris’ is awash with regal symphonic movements that sweep in and out majestically. ‘Sand and Reed’ plays gleefully with bells and guitar plucks like a child’s music box. ‘Svalbard’ meanwhile feels like you are setting sail to the stars in a rousing and emotional contemporary classical piece. It doesn’t matter how he slices the music up, Arttu Silvast makes an emotional impact and always keeps a track fluid and moving.
Fans of Olafur Arnolds, Erland Cooper, Lights & Motion and perhaps Vangelis will absolutely love this album. ‘Polarity’ feels like a fully rounded story that has highs and lows stuffed with drama and feeling. Arttu Silvast has firmly put himself on the map with his debut release. A North Star if ever there was one. All aboard – ship ahoy!
Recommended track: Polarity
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