The works of Damon and Naomi have often been intimate, comforting records. Whether celebratory or somber, there’s always a feeling that we might huddle closer around their flame to feel a sense of quiet commune between the speakers. When the limbo of last year struck, songs that the pair had started with their on and off collaborator Michio Kurihara began to take a new shape. They’d laid down the instrumentals on a trip to Japan in 2019, but the songs had no lyrics until, sequestered together in 2020, they began to examine them once more. What emerges is a record that’s moored in time — how it passes, how it hungers, the nostalgia for a past that’s just beyond reach. A Sky Record is in many ways a beacon through the fog, rotating slowly in its axis, calling those of us still lost home.
On songs like “Season Without Time” and “Sailing By” the pair gently push away the haze, finding solace in stasis. Like a Stockholm syndrome of the soul the small rituals that arise begin to give comfort until they’re necessities. The siren song is broken when Kurihara enters the frame. His playing shakes the fog away, the heat of his phrasing dries the blood we never noticed because the balm had ebbed the pain. Kurihara has always stood apart as a guitarist, able to radiate a specific gravity with his strings. Naomi refers to it as a golden net, and that gossamer vision applies here. Among the pair’s songs of coping and calm, Kurihara lights the horizon and guides us to it, giving shape to a time beyond the raft of comfort.
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