Shimmer by Gavin Miller (Review)

Gavin Miller’s latest mines the same sort of “nostalgist” sound as artists like July Skies and Epic 45.
Shimmer - Gavin Miller

Released at the same time as Eternell’s Still Light, the six tracks of Gavin Miller’s Shimmer are no less atmospheric, but they are more structured and economical. (For starters, only one of the EP’s songs crosses the five minute track.) “Part 1” immediately begins mining the same sort of “nostalgist” sound as artists like July Skies and Epic 45, with layers of simple-yet-evocative guitar melodies cascading over autumnal drones.

Those drones subside on “Part 3,” giving sparse piano and string arrangements room to create a more solemn air, until ghostly vocals signal the transition to “Part 4,” with its heavy and ominous organ. “Part 6” finally closes the album with the return of those “nostalgist” guitar melodies, which slowly fade out and leave the listener in a pensive place.

While it’s certainly subtle and contemplative (in keeping with the Sound in Silence aesthetic), there’s a darkness to Shimmer that brings to mind the works of Jóhann Jóhannsson and Max Richter, i.e., music that is certainly beautiful but also discomfiting in its melancholy. Which, depending on the listener, might only add to the intrigue.

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