The songs are sparse exercises in stoicism at times, but — like most Loscil recordings, it seems —  there’s a lot percolating beneath the surface. Perhaps less than usual — but still a lot.

That appears to be the verdict for Loscil’s Suns, a five-track, 30-minute EP that ruminates on and explores some of the same palette as 2016’s excellent Monument Builders, but is less a successor than a companion to that record. The EP is available now through Bandcamp.

Toying with concepts of restraint and desolation, Loscil ambient-soloist Scott Morgan presents listeners with soundscapes removed from his familiar flourishes, from the sun-baked opener (the droning ”Monument Destroyers”) to a song that thrives off only the occasional interjection of a bass note (the eerie ”Animal Silence”). ”Edifice,” unlike its neighbors on the outing, pulses with life. But Morgan’s ”redux” of Monument Builders’ ”Anthropocene” (track four of five on Suns) is a stripped-down, elegiac bit of electronic air, arguably the EP’s finest moment and far from the territory of between-LPs throw-aways. The closing ”Beton Brut” shows flashes of promise — is that the sustained drone of a cello, mid-thought? — but, until the closing minute or two, falls somewhat short of ”Antropocene (Redux)“’s scope.

It’s surprisingly unclear what narratives Morgan is trying to deliver or what messages he’s trying to share here. The ”voice” — though, of course, this is all instrumental, all sound-pictures — is a little opaque. There are shades of environmental decay, of course, a strong theme on Monument Builders, but, for commentary on the destruction of nature, it’s seriously lacking in adornments.

All in all, Suns is a fine addition to the Loscil catalogue for those hungering for more content from the ever-moving Morgan. But, if I had my druthers, I’d stick with Monument Builders.

About the Author

Justin Vellucci

Justin Vellucci is a former staffer at Punk Planet and Delusions of Adequacy. His music writing has appeared in national magazines like American Songwriter and PopMatters, alt-weeklies such as Brooklyn Rail, Pittsburgh CityPaper, and San Diego CityBeat, blogs Swordfish and Linoleum, and the Gannett publication Jetty. He lives in Pittsburgh.

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