Published Mar 24, 2020Art that is initially created to remember a specific moment or event, but ends up forming a powerful narrative beyond the metaphorical walls of its invention, is something closer to a masterpiece than a memento.
Ian William Craig is no stranger to masterful work. His latest, Red Sun Through Smoke, is an emotional journey that pays homage to his dying grandfather amidst thick smoky skies during a particularly bad fire season in British Columbia. Largely focused around his grandfather's piano with decaying tape treatments, Craig's layered vocals deliver a strong, unwavering response to the chaos in his life, while also exemplifying the vulnerabilities of being human.
Red Sun Through Smoke is a perfect record for these times, as well. The greater narrative that is afforded by Craig's hair-raising vocals, which often die out or warp into non-existence, is a telling foreshadow of our present conundrum. We now have affirmed what we have always known: our world is distorted and warped.
The utter despair that many are now feeling chillingly emanates from Craig's eerie broken tape loops of himself. It is hard not to simply stop everything as Craig looks inward for answers to life's eternal questions. His medium is perfect. Tapes, like humans, are flimsy and are currently being stretched beyond their limits, all the while staring at their broken world. A world where you can't help but gaze at the Red Sun Through Smoke. This is the only soundtrack you need to grieve. (Fat Cat)