Back in 2020, I sent out a playlist to my subscribers titled “The Nostalgists” that highlighted a (loosely connected) cadre of musicians. Utilizing dreamy textures, field recordings, grainy samples, wistful vocals, and evocative lyrics, they all tap into the same sort of emotional affect. You can call it “nostalgia,” obviously, but that term almost feels too slight; it’s something deeper and yet even more ephemeral.
Chief among these artists is Epic45, the long-running duo of Ben Holton and Rob Glover. Though playing in a variety of excellent and equally nostalgist-oriented projects (e.g., Birds in the Brickwork, My Autumn Empire, Field Harmonics), Epic45 remains their most substantive project. The upcoming You’ll Only See Us When the Light Has Gone will their fourteenth album, and “The Crush” offers ample proof that their music’s effect hasn’t dimmed one bit over time. Listen a bit more closely to the band’s hushed vocals, though, and you might detect a level of political discontent that belies the song’s melancholy sonics.
You’ll Only See Us When the Light Has Gone will be released by Wayside & Woodland Recordings on January 1, 2024.