Taking a break from playing bass for PigsAsPeople, Northern Irish artist Chris Lackey has adopted the alias of Via: Barvikha to put together something slightly more sombre. He has compared the project’s sound to that of Will Oldham and Jason Molina and has opted to keep the music minimal in order to convey the grief and loss with which the material deals. He plans on releasing two singles through the endeavour, the first of which is a double A-Side offering entitled “Pearl” / “Lucid Ferries”.
The former track opens with a solemn serenade that plays out placidly atop a restrained riff and delicate drums. A chime effect circumvents the sad style somewhat in the verses, but doesn’t do away with the mellow mood entirely. The guitars occasionally step into the spotlight to affect with their emotional execution.
This is especially true of a showcase of riffs around the midway mark that drift direly across the air and enthral through their touching tune. All the while, a gentle wail resounds subtly in the background to add emphasis to the anguished ambience. The result is a low-key yet compelling composition that rests easy on the ears, despite its despondent demeanour.
The latter offering is another poignant piece that unfolds more urgently than its predecessor. The vocals are intense again, sailing across pressing guitars to forge an affair that’s extremely sobering. Its quiet but cutting character allows it to make an impact that’s fairly powerful for such a silent song.
The guitars grow gradually going forward, but never shed their hushed humour, while the refrain remains reticent from start to finish. Both this and its accompanying anthem are contemplative compositions that make for a light listen, even though they’re downbeat. You can check them out for yourself on Bandcamp now, where they’ll also be available for download from November 30th.