October 21, 2022 (published)
His theme on this album is, at first glance, the sad story of an astronaut leaving the outer reaches of the solar system and floating towards a distant star – literally, the space between the astronaut and home and the remoteness. It feels like the astronaut is actually an AI, gradually becoming self-aware and understanding the loneliness of being the first of his kind and also separate from others.
The other image I draw from it is of two lovers, exploring the space between their minds and how, even though there is distance, there is a deep connection between them.
So to the music itself.
For almost the first time, we hear the voice of Paul Kirkpatrick, backed by the wonderful Emily Lynn. He has a very good voice, capable of creating deep tones as well as a hesitant and uncertain timbre which suits the material perfectly. He also plays all the keyboards and his modular system. Bass is by Julian Todd and drums by David Williamson Smith. The guitar, if any, is by Gordon Foley and the three musicians deliver superb playing, but never detract from the song.
The pace is slow. The music is accented by that and it really focuses the mind as the beat picks up, but it uses it to create these huge gaps in the soundscape – literally The Space Between – and the feeling of the astronaut flying away from at home at universal speed is brilliantly showcased.
The sound is sumptuous, it is an album which is magnificent to listen to, but all of this draws you towards our astronaut flying freely but attached to the house by an increasingly tenuous bond.
I think it’s the most personal album that Paul K has produced and also, in many ways, the most accessible.
I enjoyed it from beginning to end but, after a good ten listens, I still find depths and hidden elements in it.
Very highly recommended.