The magic of this record is the balance between intimacy and infinity – it soundtracks the moment when waking slips into dreaming and our imaginations unfurl.
Recorded on the coast of Northern California for Gnome Life Records – a label nestled, improbably, in a charming cabin in the mystical Big Sur woods – Ever Present Calm is at home in that singular place where the land meets the sea.
The expansiveness of the production’s sound has a karmic quality as it beams out to the stars and ripples back on itself in an infinite reverb loop of gorgeous softness. Roselip’s spare vocals are a lover’s voice in your ear while dreaming, cutting through the pink clouds of synth noise to anchor the record.
Thematically, Roselip intertwines cosmic and spiritual elements with stories of love lost and found. If “Sweet Salutation” sounds like a first date in a pillow fort: “Hey What’cha dreaming? What does that cloud you’re sitting on feel like?” Wielding Swords is the break-up ballad: “At clearer times we both see our love it needs to run free […] let’s have a go alone my friend.”
The jewel of the album is Sorted World, a captivating crescendo of a song that tackles the eternality of our lifecycle and a struggle between the light and dark parts of ourselves. Roselip regrets not seeing the path sooner, singing “heavy the notion of the truth I disregarded,” but concludes that if we give ourselves over to the process, “It’s never ending. I could be part of the ever present calm, some inner solitude.”
Producer Jeremy Harris – multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, and wizard – deftly manages the graceful coexistence of Roselip’s cosmic pillow talk and the lush, rolling stardust they created in the studio. Vibrating guitars and soft drums give way to layer upon layer of synthesizer cream and, in one of the best sections, some Bowie-esque Low-era sax, lending weight to the record’s buoyancy.
Clocking in at just 24 minutes, my only complaint is that I want more of this calming elixir. Forget Xanax, just draw a warm bath, set this to repeat and float away.