Multi-disciplinary artist, producer & NTS resident Kit Grill enters a new chapter in the lifespan of his solo project with ‘Swimming in Honey’, an album of beguiling leftfield synth pop inspired by personal experiences of love, romance, longing, and departure.
Reprising the use of Grill’s dulcet vocals – first introduced on last year’s euphoric single ‘Fade Away’ – ‘Swimming in Honey’ embraces lightness, openness, and romance across nine songs of reverie and warmth, led by effusive lyricism and soft-focus DIY electronics.
Grill’s seventh album, after recent forays into tranquil ambient (‘Spirit’), Italo-inspired dancefloor exuberance (‘Fragile’), and shimmering minimalism (‘Ride’), ‘Swimming in Honey’ depicts an idyllic, oneiric space of sun-kissed synthesis, insistent drum machines and homespun pop sensibilities.
Gliding through an overture of lustrous phasing and sonorous undertones on ‘The Vine’ – the sound of entrancement on a shoreline – Grill transitions into lower-case dream pop anthems (‘Country Boy’), wistful interludes situated in some hallowed space between Jefre Cantu-Ledesma and The Durutti Column (‘Madeleine’, ‘In a Landscape’), as well as upbeat, infectious love songs that have all the sequenced, evergreen effervescence of New Order circa ‘Power, Corruption & Lies’ (‘Crimson’).
Beyond the pop bliss and spellbinding atmospheres, there are creeping moments of melancholy evoking crepuscular scenes (‘The River Runs Blue’), and gorgeous lullabies that could be the curtain closer to a John Hughes film, if measured by the restraint of an English voice (‘Fly Like A Swan’).
Together these distinct vignettes form an evocative story, and though Grill’s work has always drawn out sounds and moods that have left an engaging impression, here the imprints have become specific and filmic, tied to contemporary everyday experience and urgent matters of the heart; music guided by a composed, candid voice.
For Grill, ‘Swimming in Honey’ is marked by the art of narration and visualization, as well as the newfound influence writing lyrics has had on his work: “Swimming in Honey is a collection of stories based on personal experiences where themes of love, romance, longing, and departure run throughout the album. I thought of these recordings like a film, where different scenes, stories and moods twist and turn up until the end. Musically, across the nine tracks I have aimed to create a sonic landscape that reflects my version of a country record weaving storytelling with sound.”
On the title track, Grill asks ‘how does it feel when the sun goes down?’, and ‘Swimming in Honey’ offers a series of beautiful responses to ruminations like these, presenting an impressionistic conception of pop music which is introspective and affecting, yet completely enamoured and irrepressible. Music of devotion, for daydreaming, and stargazing, getaways and slow days, sunsets, and end credits.