After more than a decade of touring, Mannion has spent the past year at home in Zurich, rearing his young family amidst the uncertainty of the pandemic. In the face of these difficulties, he channelled the inspiration to produce his first album since 2015’s Trails, balancing the “ambivalence of the current moment with wistful streaks of unguarded optimism,” Pampa says.
Sonically, the synths and rhythms common to Mannion’s earlier works are complemented with jangling guitars and sun-bleached chords, which envelope his own tender vocals in a “dappled wash of summery pop.” On one track, he overlaps melodies with hip-hop beats, creating a hypnotic slice of slinky retro-futurism, we’re told.
“I’ve always liked that Mallarmé quote, ‘Poetry is the language of crisis,’” says Mannion. “It’s hard to make good music about everything being amazing. Everything is going great—who wants to listen to that? Anything I’ve done— anything which I thought had any kind of artistic merit, has been through struggles I’ve had in my life.”
The album’s first single, “No Road Without A Turn,” streaming below, is a contemporary exploration of dub disco. The title is about the fact that no situation in life stays the same forever but it’s also about being in the moment and accepting the change, Mannion says. Musically, it’s quite representative of the instrumentation on the album and although it doesn’t have a vocal, the guitar part is quite lyrical, he says.
For more information on Mannion, check out his XLR8R feature here.
01. Man Of Aran
02. Empty Room
03. Snow On Bambo
04. Aye Aye Mi Mi
05. Moment to Change
06. Fadó Fadó
08. No Road Without a Turn
10. So Many
11. So Silent
12. Short Cuts
At The Moment LP is scheduled for August 20 release. Meanwhile, you can stream “No Road Without A Turn” in full via the player below pre-order here.