Conceived as a soundtrack to a “non-existent 1970s surf-film”, this is a record predicated on a longing that can never be satiated: a nostalgia not simply for that which is lost, but for that that has never been. Murray Paterson’s Headland project takes its constitutive incompleteness as its central theme, with ‘Sound/Track’ proceeding as a series of haiku-like miniatures: mostly wordless and acoustic, uniformly embryonic.

Despite its near-ascetic modesty, ‘Sound/Track’’s reference points are nonetheless plentiful: echoes of Pink Floyd at their most pastoral, the rustic post-rock of Do Make Say Think, The Beta Band’s understated melodicism – all are subsumed into a spacious, folksy sonic fabric. Lean in and this is a record coloured by a muted spirituality, but the music’s meekness isn’t immune from seeming contrived.

Perhaps it’s too prim, its lo-fi recording more homely than ragged. Or perhaps it’s just overly po-faced. In any case, by its close, ‘Sound/Track’ seems less concerned with evoking the mystery of its phantom subject (Paterson ended up making an accompanying film, anyway) than it is with decorating the walls.


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