Built From Sticks is the nom de plume of Jamie Curran, the man on the piano on Brisbane instrumental unit Ghost Notes (whose truly excellent third album Moonlight State came out at the beginning of the year on our own Sonic Masala Records - listen to/grab it here - if you haven't already). Out today through Duskdarter as a digital release, Curran's fifth solo album as Built From Sticks, Return To Underwater Breathing, is subtle yet breathtaking. From the sublime slow-crawling preamble that is eleven minute opener 'Should I Stay Or Should I Go?', it is clear that Curran is steering clear of the more conventional song structures of the past, more open to tangential shifts and sonorous drifts. Curran's acoustic ruminations are coloured by Ghost Notes bandmates Luke McCallum (trumpet) and Cam Smith (drums). As with all internal aural contemplations, there is room for a susurration to boil over into a more cacophonous release, as the rusted distortion that closes out 'New Habitat' assuages, but in the main this is the type of somnambulist meandering that the likes of Black Eagle Child, Mark Koselek or Codeine might impart (albeit with Curran's gentle vocals and without the crooked posturing or the cathartic noise). It's great to have these ruminative pastoral sojourns out in the world, outside of the four walls of the bedroom and given space to breathe.
Do yourself a favour and pick Return To Underwater Breathing here. Built From Sticks launches the album at the Milk Factory in Brisbane on Thursday May 14 with Duskdarter alums Bremen Town Musician and Dempefka in tow.