Some parts of the time and space that created music are indispensable to its character; charming oddities that stand out on repeat listens rather than annoy. Johan G. Winther's solo debut The Rupturing Sowle is generally a charming oddity in and of itself, consisting of darkly introspective folk music recorded in a cabin. That unusual dwelling is tied deeply to the music: it graces the record's cover, and the incidental sounds captured there were used in its musing tracks, stitching the environs into the music itself and perhaps the personality of the place as well. We're premiering one such track now -- check out "Blacken the World" and listen for the birdsong that springs up partway through, among other subtle incursions.

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The song is a gentle offering: plucked strings and what might be a woodwind or a synthesizer dance around a whimsical tambourine-driven beat, with an unidentifiable soft whistling behind it. Occasionally, cello rises up over the rest, drawing the disparate threads together in wistful reflection. With no vocals to intone a narrative, the ambient elements like scattered bird calls and slight gusts of noise play a huge role, disproportionate to their volume. Especially as the song swells, their presence begins to cast darker shadows over the generally pastoral tones: the airy rhythm beat out by the drums is maddeningly consistent, and the cello seems just a shade darker than before.

"Blacken the World" remains mellow throughout, absolutely, but it tells a story all the same: one that an isolated cabin might tell you, of fading light and hopeless dawns.

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The Rupturing Sowle releases March 26th, 2021 via Pelagic Records.