"[Perri] makes meticulously layered, experimental music that feels as breezy and inviting as the smoothest yacht rock. It is, in a word, timeless." – Pitchfork
CST148 180gLP • CD • DL
Release date: 06 September 2019
Soft Landing features songs Perri has been playing around with for the better part of the last decade, taking many forms along the way, and recorded sporadically over a long period. It’s also his most guitar-based collection since 2007’s Tiny Mirrors. While Perri is rightly celebrated as “one of the most singular producers in contemporary music” (Boomkat) for his widely varied electronic work, his foundations as a guitarist have always anchored his ‘solo’ albums in one form or another. On Soft Landing, Perri’s guitar playing is at the smoothly, expressively rambling heart of these tunes — while his recording and mixing acumen as a (self-) producer is also on brilliant display.
As with last year’s In Another Life (which comprised two album-length sides of ‘infinite song’), Soft Landing opens with the 16-minute “Time (You Got Me)”, an enchanted mid-tempo excursion anchored by Perri’s gently sliding guitar riff and a serene vocal delivering lyrics that can be read as a wistfully acquiescent love letter to the fourth dimension. Paced by congas, shakers, claves, impressionistic piano and even the occasional wind chime, Perri wraps up his final vocal refrain by the song’s fifth minute and then steers the instrumental theme down a long and winding road in his inimitable style – like a stroll along a country lane where every glint of dappled sunlight catches another rustling, animate micro-detail. The album then shifts to what might be called more ‘finite’ songs (each clocking in at 4-6 minutes), with Side One’s closer “Floriana” representing one of two instrumentals, where an arpeggiated guitar riff makes the bed for a series of lovely and languorous melodic lines traded between electric lead guitar, trumpet and flute, that evoke sunrise in ways equally suited to waking up from a long restorative slumber or wrapping up an all-nighter.
“God Blessed The Fool” opens Side Two, a splendid stroke of sultry slow-burn soul that finds Sandro singing a literal chorus of “deedly deedly dum dum” in sweet falsetto. “Back On Love” is perhaps the album’s most familiar-sounding Perri tune and arguably the most explicit love song in his catalogue: a song about love itself, needless to say (it’s doubtful we’ll ever hear a “baby I want you back” jam from Perri). “Wrong About The Rain” channels only the choicest tropes of syncopated 70s-era soft-rock; Perri weaves ornate guitar licks around a succulent interplay between clavinet and trap kit, resulting in one of the most immediately satisfying tunes he’s ever put to tape – high praise for someone with Perri’s stellar catalogue to date, but we’re confident fans will agree. Thanks for listening.
Ryan Driver – flute (tracks 1, 2, 4)
Blake Howard – clave, congas, moose call (tracks 1, 2, 4, 5, 6)
John Jowett – euphonium (track 2)
Nicole Rampersaud – trumpet (track 2)
Mike Smith – bass, clavinet, Rhodes (tracks 2, 5, 6)
Matt McLaren – Linn Drum (track 3)
Josh Cole – fretless bass (tracks 4, 5)
Thomas Hammerton – Rhodes (track 4)
Nick Fraser – drums (track 5)
Recorded at 6 Nassau and Sonology, Toronto 2015-2019.
Mixed West of Vinny’s.
Mastered at Grey Market by Harris Newman.
Layout by Ian Ilavsky and Davin Risk.
Published by Ribbon Music 2019.