There’s an abundance of music on so many platforms that it’s impossible to consume all of it despite our best efforts. While parsing through the clutter there are those serendipitous “aha!” moments when we discover an artist, a song or an album that moves us in a profound way. For a moment the earth stops rotating on its axis and that blissful instance becomes a bookmark etched in your memory. The connection you’ve made forms a bond, and you soon wonder how the hell you were able to function as a human being without this new discovery in your life.
While listening to Ghosting Season’s 2012 debut album, Very Last Of The Saints, released on Sasha’s Last Night On Earth label, I remember having no expectation before my first listen. I didn’t know anything about Gavin Miller and Tom Ragsdale or their other musical endeavor, worriedaboutsatan, which was name checked in the press release. Nonetheless Very Last Of The Saints touched a nerve for me because of the way in which the Manchester-based pair blended ambient, post-rock, techno and electronica into a quixotic signature. Even the space between the notes sounded magical.
After working on solo projects Miller and Ragsdale (who also records as Winter Son) have turned their attention once again to their aforementioned worriedaboutsatan and will release Even Temper, a follow-up to their 2009 debut Arrivals, in March. The album’s eight tracks follow along the same musical lines as their prior works, but the sonic subtleties and nuances have been elevated to a breathtaking height.
Woozy pads breathe and caress while a dichotomous mix of melancholy and euphoria prevail — these two elements that seem to be hardwired into the duo’s network. With its deep bass and minimal, plodding arrangement the gorgeous vocal track “MV Joyita” featuring rising star Morgan Visconti sounds like one of the best songs Depeche Mode never got around to writing. The rhythmic march of “Jaki” shows their ability to work at a faster, altogether different tempo as a repetitive vocal sample eases you into a trance-like state.
Wanting to know more about Even Temper, we posed a few questions to Gavin Miller and Tom Ragsdale.
Worriedaboutsatan’s Even Temper is released March 16 on This Is It Forever.
It’s taken a few years to get the new album out. What took so long?!
Gavin Miller: To be honest, the last few years have been pretty crazy for us. We’ve obviously been away doing the whole Ghosting Season thing for a bit, and then we’ve both explored solo stuff too, but we always had this nagging feeling of wanting to do something with satan again, but for various reasons, we just never got round to it. We’ve had demos kicking around for ages, but for quite a while we were pushed and pulled by various industry forces. After we thought about it, we decided we wanted to regain some sense of calm and control over our output — hence the album title of Even Temper — so we stripped it all back to just me and Tom and took it easy for a bit. After that, the single and then the album came really naturally — we were just sitting about and everything started flowing again after a few jams and stuff!
The album features a lot of sonic moods. Was it a challenge to make all of the tracks work in the form of an album?
Tom Ragsdale: It was great for us working this way, as the tracks are essentially jam sessions that we’ve extended and pulled apart a little. We have some really cool equipment in the studio, so we’ll just start one track with a guitar line and then maybe we’ll start another with an old ’70s Roland synth. Then you get all of these contrasting tones and moods as the music is created over the entire studio! What ties it in is our overall sound though — plenty of reverb, deep bass and rough sampling.
“We’re so excited to have this album surface to be honest! We just hope people appreciate the time it’s taken and that it was worth the wait.”
Will you be releasing any remixes?
Miller: We’ve not really thought about it, really! Perhaps, if the planets all align and we the opportunity presents itself, but for now we’re more interested in getting original material out — that’s the priority.
Morgan Visconti appears on a track. He’s an artist who is certainly coming into his own. How did you connect? How did you record with him — in-person or virtually?
Ragsdale: Morgan is absolutely amazing to work with. The vocal he sent over — we did everything online — was perfect on the first take and you can really hear a lot of emotion running through him. His manager is a good friend of ours that we’ve worked with over the years, and it was a natural introduction. We’d love to work more with him though, his voice is unreal.
The overall vibe of the album seems to lend itself to being realized in a live setting. Do you envision a live show happening in the future?
Miller: Oh, most definitely. We’re hitting the road from March onwards, just around the UK. Playing to whoever will have us, basically! [Laughs.] Feels good to take it back to the old school ways of doing things, like we used to.
Any additional thoughts?
Ragsdale: We’re so excited to have this album surface to be honest! We just hope people appreciate the time it’s taken and that it was worth the wait. It’s good to be back.
Track listing for Even Temper
- I’m Not Much, But I’m All I Have
- Sleep Of The Foolish
- Church Of Red
- MV Joyita (feat. Morgan Visconti)
- A Damaged Magician
- All Safe, All Well