Sunlight Owl — Vastlustre

Ashley Davies aka Sunlight Owl has come up with his first EP, Vastlustre, which was recorded during the lockdown and deals with the claustrophobic feeling that haunted the last year.

Ashley has quite a peculiar background for someone who decided to experiment with electronic sound: he had been playing and touring with alternative rock music before the pandemic broke out. His musical experience echoes in the first and fourth tracks of the EP that are saturated with a distinct alternative/post-rock melancholy created by electronic and acoustic guitars. The first track Intermediacy with its noisy textures oscillates between more common indietronica and the sound of Radian-like bands. The second track Restup tricks the listener into thinking they are about to hear some kind of drum’n’bass modulation, but in the end, the motoric rhythm starts to resemble krautrock sound, the way it was interpreted in the year 2000. In any case, the drum’n’bass references are not accidental, as the EP contains elements of other music genres that might have been important for Ashley who's currently based in London: in the last track of the EP, Mind Hole, one can clearly hear the influence of British dubstep.

The overall atmosphere of the EP is sanguine (partly, due to the EP paying homage to chillstep), and it comes as no surprise, considering that behind the enigmatic title Vastlustre one can hear the German Wanderlust, a lust for traveling (at this point, one could remember one of the tracks by Bjork that bears the same name). It may sound a little bit amateurish for now, but this slight hint of rawness contributes to the carefree mood that is shared by all the songs.