Based out of Worcester, UK, Sky Goer, Autumn Light is the musical project of Art Therapist, Davey Edwards, previously a member of The Greenland Choir. Having first appeared back in 2018 with the debut EP, Songs For Indri, Sky Goer, Autumn Light returned in June this year with his first new music in three years, the five-song collection, down the hallway, these moths...
While most of Davey’s music has been an outlet for his unconscious thoughts, down the hallway, these moths… was a more conscious plan, a decision made to write a cohesive collection of songs. Throughout Davey’s songwriting there’s a sense of exploration, he pours ideas out of his mind onto the tape, and then only when looking back manages to find meaning in the sketches. He speaks of all his songs as coming back to love songs, even if they start somewhere else entirely. Musically, this record seems to find freedom of expression in limitations, recorded from his own home and a limited pallet of instruments, he creates wild collages of sound, from the Eno-like fizz of Lunar Maria Where Have You Been? To the meandering keyboards of the melancholy These Moths, which nods to the likes of Elvis Depressedly or Advance Base. Despite the eclectic songwriting, there’s a sense of togetherness found in the buzz of static and processed vocals that appear throughout, in the same way, Davey makes sense of his songs as a collection, as a listener, you’re also rewarded for taking them as a whole, which shines far beyond its individual parts. The record closes on the subtle beauty of the boat has been found… despite its lo-fi origins, the track has an expansiveness that wouldn’t sound out of place on a post-rock record, using the space and silences between ideas to paint just as vividly as the instruments themselves, as Lisa Simpson said of jazz, “you have to listen to the notes she’s not playing”. At times we can all focus on the search for the next big thing, and be guilty of appreciating music only for the likelihood of it connecting with the world at large, Sky Goer, Autumn Light aren’t aiming for that, and there’s a purity to that, a record created for the joy of creation, it sparks the mind and encourages you to look at the world differently, and in music, as in any art, there should always be a place for that.
FTR: For those who don’t know who is Sky Goer, Autumn Light?
I’ve been recording as Sky Goer, Autumn Light for the past 4 or 5 years, and have just released my third E.P. ‘down the hallway, these moths…’, which all came together since Christmas. It’s really a way of making sense of various things that come into my head like old air balloon expeditions to the north pole, imaginary explorers turning mad at sea, things to do in space, the daily adventures of sea animals, old Buddhist tales, watching insects moving around leaves. Although I suppose underneath all that, most of my songs are just basically love songs in some form or another – a tried and tested theme!
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
Sky Goer hasn’t really been much of a live band up until now, but before that I was in a band called The Greenland Choir with my good friends Adrian Hill and Nick Hartshorn, which was an acoustic, xylophone, fairground organ, folky type thing. I’m not sure specifically the first show, but I know most of those early shows were somewhere between fairly unimpressive and disastrous. We used to have so many instruments to play between the three of us, and six hands never quite felt enough. Good times though.
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
Actually, I’d probably say I’m more of a painter than a musician; I vaguely get by on various instruments, but painting is where I feel more at home. In saying that, I’m not sure anything has the same power as music to be able to transport you back to a certain time and place. I think I stumbled into my solo music, more from necessity than choice – in the middle of a dark, scary period of my life, writing music seemed to be the best outlet for that, and then I thought I may as well record the songs inside my head. My latest E.P. is the first solo music I’ve made that I consciously thought ‘oh, I feel like writing a new record’, which has been quite a fun experience. Also, I generally ramble on in everyday life, and writing words for songs is an excuse to do that without it being too weird.
FTR: What can people expect from the Sky Goer, Autumn Light live show?
As I’ve still not got more than six hands, probably very different to the recorded versions! I haven’t really played live much since band days, whether that’s more to do with my first two solo records being quite a personal thing that I wasn’t really comfortable playing again, or just that I seem to lose enthusiasm in my songs once they are finished. I’d much rather create new stuff than keep playing older songs. However, I have a friend that makes films and I like putting on shows where I can just play incidental music to silent old footage of volcanoes or icebergs or something like that.
FTR: What’s next for Sky Goer, Autumn Light?
Well, I’ve already started writing a new collection of songs, but probably a change in direction is needed. After falling out of love with the guitar, which was the first instrument I learned to play, I’ve been quite inspired by simple guitar music again. India Farr that sings a bit on my new record, plays beautiful guitar folky songs which has reminded me you don’t always need 36 instruments on a song. So hopefully, we might collaborate on something. I love making music by myself as there’s no need to compromise, but co-creating with friends is even better, and plus it means there’s someone to tell you when your new ideas are pretty terrible, whereas by yourself, you think it’s the best song in the world!
They Listen To…
Smárakvartettinn á Akureyri – Vöggubarnsins Mál
Sin Fang – Slowlights
Neutral Milk Hotel – Engine
Fever Ray – Triangle Walks
The Greenland Choir – The Neptune Song Part.II
down the hallway, these moths… is out now. For more information on Sky Goer, Autumn Light visit https://skygoerautumnlight.bandcamp.com/.