Originally released as a hand-numbered CD on New Year’s Eve of 2004, Last Light captures Tor Lundvall’s hushed songcraft at its most ghostly and grayscale, stripped bare like branches bracing for winter. Initially conceived of as “a piano album with sparse electronics” (with the working title November), Lundvall’s palette steadily expanded, incorporating synthesizer, samples, bass, metronomes, and his signature spectral vocals. A journal entry from the spring of 2002 proved formative to his evolving vision: “I remember watching the blueish-grey light shimmering outside and hearing distant sounds echoing far away, eventually sinking into silence and stillness.”
The album’s 12 tracks are steeped in this sense of autumnal transience, of bearing witness to what fades. The music moves in whispered swells, between dirge, drift, and devotional. Synths chime like slow-tolling bells; percussion shuffles and shivers, icy and isolated; bass traces a low- lidded plod – it’s a mode both austere and seductive, lulling the listener into its landscapes of deepening dusk. Lyrically, Lundvall’s language skews observational and depressive (“through lace curtains / grey light falls / dark clouds gather / in my soul”), with each song like a gauzy glimpse into a different tableau framing winter’s descent: rust-colored leaves, frozen ponds, cold crescent moons.
Lundvall has long considered Last Light a “personal favorite” in his discography, and it’s easy to hear why. In texture, finesse, and pacing, it vividly evokes the rare mood of fragile, frosty pastoral noir depicted in his iconic oil paintings. His is an art of the half-seen and half-remembered, of fleeting figures, shapes and shadows, and gathering darkness. Of all that disappears, and the ghosts that never leave: “So I wait / as the years / slowly drain the magic and the light / and the girl / I never loved / haunts me through the dark roads of my life.”
OUT 10 NOVEMBER 2023...
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