- 24 Apr 20
Rory Frier’s first solo release is a beautifully textured indie record, encompassing themes of love, hope, loss and isolation that feel especially poignant in the current climate.
Parting Cuts was concepted years ago by composer and And So I Watch You From Afar guitarist Rory Friers — but its release now is more poignant than ever. Recorded during a period of isolation in a remote farmhouse by the sea, Friers recounts the year-long journey his sister and her now-husband around the world marked by growth and tragedy. Its themes of love, loss, hope and battling through dark times are personal, yet universal.
The title track opens the record in a cinematic fashion, a fanfare signaling the beginning of an adventure accompanied by drums reminiscent of marching footsteps. From this point on the journey continues both emotionally and geographically, encompassing varied, raw emotions and sounds heavily influenced by the locations they're inspired by. Friers' experience as an instrumental artist is palpable in his strong ability to tell a story without words. Beautifully layered compositions evoke feelings of calmness, love, sad introspection and hope.
‘Two Do Battle With The Mountain (So On You Go)’ is a standout track, carrying themes of perseverance both sonically and lyrically. It concludes with a Peruvian-inspired flute and rhythm, a clever callback to his sister's journey hiking up Machu Picchu, that transform the song's somber intensity into a hopeful pick-me-up. Closing track ‘The Next Adventure Has Its Start’, a nod to his sister’s wedding, cleverly calls back to the instrumentals of the opener for a satisfying ending.
In the simplest of terms, Parting Cuts can be defined as an indie record, but it feels far too reductive. Friers traverses genres, touching on folk, shoegaze and international influences in the form of marimbas, pan flutes and more. The tones are sometimes sad, isolating and longing, but the overwhelming senses of hope and love feel especially inspiring. It's a beautifully cohesive record, where each track feels most powerful in the context of the songs surrounding it.