Exclusives don’t roll through these parts too much, so when they do it’s always welcome. Coupled with the fact that the artist in question is something we are very excited to share with readers.
Noir et Blanc is the solo project of Brisbane multi-instrumentalist, Amber Ramsay.
Having released her debut EP, [indistinct chatter], back in 2020, Ramsay returns as Noir et Blanc with the debut album, Wallflower Pedestrian, officially landing on Thursday via Brisbane label, 4000 Records.
Consisting of 10 beautiful compositions, Wallflower Pedestrian is filled with soft textures that drift and envelope the Queensland capital.
Speaking of Wallflower Pedestrian in the press release, Ramsay said, “During lockdown I spent a lot of time walking and listening to music, or just sitting in parks. I aimed to create a body of work that mimicked this meditative state of observation rather than introspection, offering some sense of sonic expansiveness and stillness to contrast the sometimes oversaturated day to day routine.”
Lockdown has meant that open spaces have become a new force where influence is concerned. They have been the catalyst for appreciating the simple things in life, the perfect milieu to pause and take stock. Wallflower Pedestrian is an ode to this notion.
The aptly titled [door opens] begins Wallflower Pedestrian. The longest piece on the album, [door opens] is a series of glittery soundscapes akin to gentle rain falling from the night sky. Here, and later with [time ticks on], there are echoes of Fixed:: Content-era Labradford and, closer to home, Aging ~ Land Trance.
In the lead-up to the release of Wallflower Pedestrian, Ramsay also spoke of being inspired by film and the unsettling nature of the current day-to-day with COVID and all the rest of it. This rings true on the cinematic interlude of [traffic weaves], which takes us through dark passages that somehow feel idyllic. Moving forward, and this feels like Ramsay’s natural habitat for future releases.
Then there’s [traffic weaves] – a broken piano composition that passes off a detached vibe. A nomadic kind of loneliness. On [flowers turn to find the sun], the overarching piece on the album, Ramsay evokes a similar uncertainty, a paranoia not too dissimilar to what John Bence captured in 2020 with his album, Love.
The plinking guitar of [clouds tangle] is fit for a film score, unfurling like a slow-motion post-rock waltz, which is followed by [storm rolls in the distance]. Containing an eerie intensity absorbed by darkness, [storm rolls in the distance] is like a lullaby composed from a piano in an abandoned roadhouse out in the middle of nowhere.
With an organic nuance and subtle textures that effortlessness glide between different sound worlds, there won’t be many records out of the experimental DIY scene this year that better Wallflower Pedestrian.
Wallflower Pedestrian is out this Thursday via 4000 Records. Purchase from Bandcamp.