Glacis: Love, If You Love Me, Lie Beside Me Now
Love, If You Love Me, Lie Beside Me Now presents a disarmingly lovely collection of solo piano pieces composed and performed by Euan Alexander Millar-McMeeken under the Glacis name; if the name rings a bell, it might be because the Edinburgh, Scotland-based pianist also operates as one-half of Graveyard Tapes. Issued on the Finnish label Tavern Eightieth (in a 100-copy run), the twenty-three-minute release was produced by Ben Chatwin (Talvihorros) and René Gonzalez Schelbeck (Western Skies Motel), the latter also featured on three of the six tracks. In addition, Alan McCormack (Now Wakes The Sea) and William Ryan Fritch appear on a single track apiece, but in all cases but Fritch's the guests' contributions are tantamount to near-subliminal textural enhancements or what one might call ambient tinting. The multi-tracked cello Fritch adds to “There is Nothing, Yet I am Here,” on the other hand, is very much conspicuous and gloriously so.
The opening “No One can Reach us Now, or Ever” is especially beautiful, a haunting piano ballad rich in melancholy and rendered with sensitivity and deep feeling by the pianist. The intimate character of the project is also bolstered by an occasional ambient noise that creeps into the recording, a case in point the creaking sounds that appear alongside McMeeken's affecting piano melodies in “Love, if You Love Me” (in such a case, it's conceivable that a blindfolded listener might identify the artist as Goldmund rather than Glacis). Oddly, the piano playing in “Under the Arc of the Sky” warbles ever so slightly, sounding at times a bit waterlogged, after which “There is Nothing, Yet I am Here” brings the EP to an uplifting close with Fritch's cello a powerful second voice. Irony feels light years away during such performances.
For whatever reason, McMeeken has a thing for EPs, with Love, If You Love Me, Lie Beside Me Now following upon earlier ones on Fluid Audio, mini50 records, and Soft Corridor Records, but that's certainly no cause for complaint: a fifth of equal calibre to the fourth would be a more than welcome addition to the series.