It was back in the Spring of 2021 that Sailor Down last appeared on these pages. That was around the release of the Massachusetts-based project’s debut EP, Skip The Line. The subsequent two years have seen songwriter Chloe Deeley leave behind the lo-fi of her early bedroom recordings for a fuller sound inspired by “early Saddle Creek pedal steel” and electronic programming via an op1 synthesiser. That growth will be showcased with the world next month as Relief Map Records share the debut Sailor Down album, Lookout Park. Ahead of the release today, Chloe is premiering its first single, Bat Signal.
Described as a record of, “letting go and getting close”, Lookout Park was written on the back of Chloe reaching a crossroads in her life, leaving Northampton behind to return to her hometown on the Massachusetts North Shore to take up a middle school teaching position. The resultant record seems to exist in a moment of calm contemplation, looking, “back and ahead at the horizon with varying levels of optimism”. Bat Signal serves as a gorgeous introduction, as Chloe sings a reminder to pick herself up and keep believing in the future, “I’m taking a break from falling down. I’m gonna learn how to follow myself around”.
Musically, the track nods both to Sailor Down’s DIY roots and newfound creative confidence as Chloe’s unhurried vocal is joined by a sonic pallet of processed beats and languid acoustic guitars like the middle ground of Frankie Cosmos and Digital Ash-era Bright Eyes. The whole thing possesses a delightfully unhurried quality, as if Chloe has plenty to say, but is still working out just where she stands and how she wants to express that. A line like, “you could call it quits, or you could hang around”, is loaded with the sense of a life-changing decision that hangs very much in the balance. Lookout Park may be an album that exists in the in-between place of a decision being made, yet it’s also the sound of an artist growing into that doubt, her life might be full of doubt, but contrastingly her musical prowess has never felt more sure.
Lookout Park is out June 9th via Relief Map Records. For more information on Sailor Down visit https://linktr.ee/sailordown.