The group recorded the album sessions together at the tail end of their 2019 European tour, locking themselves away in the studio for three days of improvisation.
But with Pike marooned in Australia, and Abbott and Wylie in different parts of England, it meant an enforced gestation period. Whereas previously the band would pore over their long, uninterrupted live studio sessions and select passages which would become each track, on this record the hiatus allowed them to seek additional input from James Holden as well as producer/engineer David Pye.
Sonically, where the band’s second album, New Hymn To Freedom, had its “face tilted up to the heavens,” we’re told, Earth Patterns is a “more grounded” record.
“Moments of jazz harmony collide with cinematic soundscapes,” we’re told, “and long searching passages build into kaleidoscopic frenzies.”
“I think the record we’ve ended up with is an emotional outpouring,” Abbott says. “There’s a fluidity to it that feels like we tapped into something quite raw. The last record felt like drifting in space but I see this new record as a journey from the outer reaches of the universe down onto the earth, like a macrocosm to microcosm arc,” he explains.
Away from Szun Waves, Wyllie has been busy with Portico Quartet, Forgiveness, and his own Paradise Cinema project. Pike, meanwhile, put out his third solo album, Prophecy, in July 2020, while Abbott has released Translate, his first solo album in six years, on James Holden’s Border Community label.
Szun Waves also released an EP, Three, comprised of previously unreleased tracks from the New Hymn sessions, in the summer of 2020.
01. Exploding Upwards
02. New Universe
04. In The Moon House
05. Be A Pattern For The World
06. Willow Leaf Pear
Earth Patterns LP is scheduled for August 19 release. Meanwhile, you can stream “New Universe” in full via the player below and pre-order here.