In singer and keyboardist Josh Strachan's and my many conversations about music, we have come to an understanding: the moody and subtle in music carries a greater eventuality in power than the outright. Through his metal(-esque) project Vaura, which he shares with the likes of Kevin Hufnagel and Toby Driver, the shift from the bombastic to the obscured fits these themes to which we have discussed, but, in the long run, Vaura is a straightforward rock band (and that's fine, to be clear). Through that project Strachan and company achieve strange, gothic sounds that the metal world hasn't seen nor heard before, but there is a wider world of understatement to which Strachan can, and wants to, explore.

Now teamed up with Pieter Nooten of Clan of Xymox and His Name is Alive's Warren Defever (a team I don't think I would have ever expected), Strachan's Meridiane exists in a world of textures and subdued melody instead of chord progressions and driving rhythms. This project's free-flowing gothicisms -- Strachan's voice and synthesizer melding with Defever's textured guitars, Nooten's keyboards, and cellist Kaily Schenker's soaring melodies -- speak to a more Sylvian-esque ambiance than any of the individuals' own projects. "Deerstalking," which can be streamed below, is an exertion, but it also isn't -- this is relaxed music, its performers lulled into a trance just as the audience is. Everything is in slow motion, now, and Meridiane's own musical Butoh tells a story of heartache, despair, and longing. This is subtle music for the patient.

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Meridiane's debut LP, To Walk Behind The Sun, will be released later this year on Primal Architecture.

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