A sense of atmosphere can be everything, and sometimes it’s what you don’t notice that makes all the difference. This play in subtlety is what Wilsen does best, coloring “I Go Missing In My Sleep,” their debut album, with a reserved impressionism all their own.
The album delights in creating space, letting the dreamy voice of bandleader Tamsin Wilson shimmer on the surface, creating ripples in the song’s fabric. The music is both complex and non-intrusive, giving the listener the choice to lose themselves in the dynamic web of sounds that Wilsen weaves, or alternatively let the music pass over them like a cloud that is both beautiful and nebulous.
Despite its sometimes expansive sound, there is something undeniably introverted about “I Go Missing In My Sleep.” I get the feeling on tracks such as “Otto” and “Heavy Steps” that Wilson is singing from some dark corner of her room, awake to the silence and heaviness of the late night hours. Her spectral voice paints such a scene in the chorus of “Otto:”
“Did the dark swallow you whole
Did the sea get your ghost
See I didn’t hear you leave without us
So small, now, we’re so small”
Though the feeling of solitude permeates the album, Wilson finds consolation in the loneliness that comes creeping along. In “Heavy Steps,” a song that shines with the singer’s casual delivery, accentuates her message of self-love:
“In the morning you’ll find
Heavy steps quiet
Worry turns to wonder
And you don’t have to be alone”
In an interview she offers this consolation for those stuck in similar spaces of thinking:
“You may sit and wonder why people haven’t entered your life, and it’s maybe because you have some self-repair [to do].”
“Heavy Steps” is also one of the best sounding songs on the album. It’s subdued approach and glazed-over groove weave in and out of Wilson’s rich voice, forming a tight spiral of sound. It’s a well-produced album and a joy to listen to with earphones, where the production shines. Close your eyes and the music suddenly feels like a daydream.
Sometimes the production sounds a bit too good, though, and there a few parts of the album that could have used a little bit more edge. That being said, the pristine sound of the record only enhances the dreamlike feeling that Wilson’s songs evoke. The textural folk that Wilsen makes lives inside of the time right before sunrise, when the night is about to recede into morning. The light is coming over a painted horizon to color the world again.