MayMay is Laurel Simmons. Hailing from Portland, Oregon, Simmonsʼ debut solo album, “And So I Place You In the Setting Sun” is a gorgeous, quietly powerful mediation on the acceptance of transition.
Simmons is no stranger to creating pastoral, evocative music, having exercised her considerable vocal and instrumental skills as a member of beloved Portland chamber-folk darlings Loch Lomond, as well as collaborations with a variety of other well-regarded acts, including international touring with peers such as Alela Diane and Rauelsson.
MayMay began during Simmonsʼ ﬁrst winters in the Paciﬁc Northwest leaving her homesick for the deserts of her native Arizona and the closeness of generations of family she left behind. MayMay is named in homage to her Arizona roots, in particular her grandmother Barbara Mae May.
“And So I Place You in the Setting Sun” is a remarkable record, willing to experiment with the tension between ambiance and rhythmic texture, while nostalgia and eloquent melodies arrange themselves into dynamics that are compelling yet wanting. The instrumentation blooms and fades like seasons through artful arranging and listeners come away with the notion of how triumphant the heart can be.
The collision of Simmonsʼ somber, ethereal vocals with lyrics permeated by images of sunlight and evocative themes of the process of letting go results in a record that truly sticks with the listener.
Extremely limited numbers available: For all intents and purposes, Grand Salvo is the work of singer-songwriter Paddy Mann. Grand Salvo’s debut album, 1642-1727, and its follow-up, River Road, earned him rave reviews and a solid following at home and beyond for his stark, sensitive and beautiful songs.
After a spell living in Europe, Paddy returned to Australia and began work on another album he’d dreamt up while away, A set of songs that acts as a children’s storybook, the album became cursed with too many recording problems and Paddy decided to shelve it. While that project will eventually see the light of day, its plagued nature ironically became the motivation for The Temporal Wheel.
Presented in the Tartaruga house style, (thick recycled cardboard gatefold sleeve), this release features a beautiful screen-printed design from Bruno Jones, in bright Phthalo Green. The CD comes with a two-colour screen-printed foldout insert, again featuring illustration from Bruno Jones, printed on high quality Pergamenata paper.
Each CD is numbered from 1 to 200.
The compilation features 12 tracks from some of the globe’s most talented sound-designers. It is a subtly rewarding headphone listen from start to finish; curated and ordered to purposefully induce a state of sleep. Starting off minimally, gradually gathering tone and atmosphere, the experience goes on without ever boiling over or reaching a crescendo. Parts of the album are light and restful whereas traces of it tread darker territory. All in all, the imagery that the album conjurs sits perfectly as a soundtrack to the dreams one experiences during a nights sleep.