The word ethereal is much overused in music writing these days. I should know, I’m more to blame than anyone. But sometimes there is no better word to use to sum up a piece of music that seems to have been beamed down to this world from somewhere far beyond. This is one of those times.
Understated, that’s another word we need to use here for a song that is built only from a spacious and languid guitar, and dreamlike and drifting vocals. It’s a gorgeous affair, one that feels less like music and more like a feeling, which is less to be listened to but perhaps absorbed.
It’s the sign of a great singer that just one single strand of vocal can carry most of the song, can enthral the listener, beguile them with beauty; it’s also the sign of a great songwriter that they are brave enough to produce a song this spacious and seductively simple. Guitar notes gently cascade, harmony vocals swirl around and textures seem to pool and percolate in the spaces between, but it is the vocal which holds you fixated.
Twilight Sleep is like little you will have heard before, it’s the sort of song which has you reaching for new forms of language to describe it, choosing words to capture its tones and textures, ones that are more poetic, more emotive, more evocative. Words such as ethereal.