Sailing Stones – Polymnia: Album Review

Polymnia is the debut album from Sailing Stones. An outlet for the work of Jenny Lindfors, it’s a quietly assured and confident collection.

Release Date: 24th April 2020

Label: Bandcamp

Formats: DL / limited CD (but sold out – sorry)

An exploration of learning how to break free and let go, existentially. “I really wanted to get into the dark side of what we wrestle with as human beings, and that there is no easy solution,” says Jenny about the songs of Polymnia.

Ranging from glossy pop to more experimental production, Sailing Stones skillfully brings her 70s songwriting influences into new ambitious territories. Produced by TJ Allen, the tracks unfold with dramatic, gradual pacing as she explores the theme of consolation in darkness.

Those in the know will appreciate the analogy with Emma Ruth Rundle on a lighter scale. The low frequency rumble and easy rhythms from the pace and tone-setting Free As I’m Gonna Be saturate the following nine tracks.

An Albatross pulse underpins the mellow Comfort with some dreamy washes of spacey sound; the latter ambience providing the bed for some fluid bass lines on The Fire Escape. The ache of love and lost love comes with some subtle added mournful brass.

Emmanuel might appear as one of the sparsest tracks which adds to the theme of fixation on respite during isolation. However, there’s also the briefest of feelings that it might evolve into a gospel with the snatch of backing vocal.

Possible favourite track is Wasted Moon that’s a sublime contrast to the more radio-friendly Receive that follows. The former is phrased beautifully against an accompaniment that’s so laid back it’s almost static. Darkness, rainy night windows and candlelight all evoking a wistful atmosphere.

Another track that gradually burns up in drama is the title track with clashing saxophones and electric guitars on its outro. The curtain closer reflects on escaping from the ups and downs of the day-to-day grind. A defiant and increasingly confident “I’ll be free and I’ll survive” while being on the last song, sits as the central message of the album.

Lending sonic expertise is producer and multi-instrumentalist TJ Allen (Bat For Lashes, Laura Groves) on production and bass duties, with Dan Moore on keys/ synths and Daisy Palmer on drums and drum machines. Between them, they’ve helped Jenny create and finely craft a set of lush ethereal soundscapes. Polymnia is simply a beautiful album.

Listen to Emmanuel (filmed at home) here:

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