A Far Cry From Here is this sextet’s third album in four years, following on from 2004’s Time of Rebirth (a unique blend of folk-rock, jazz and electronica) and Blank Walls (darker, edgier, more exploratory atmospheres) from 2005. For their latest work, The Observatory furthers the experimentation with sound, arrangement and song-form in Blank Walls, but this time making an ambitious quantum leap through textural re-imagining and metamorphosis.
Assimilating rich and myriad influences - Soft Machine, This Heat, Tortoise, Talk Talk, Shining, Jaga Jazzist, Supersilent, Brian Wilson, Robert Wyatt, Nick Drake et al - the band heads towards an adventurous new direction buoyed by a distinctly different musical vision and vocalist/guitarist Leslie Low’s pensive, tender yet elliptical song-craft.
'A Far Cry From Here' is a multifaceted entity where adventurous, far-reaching musical notions exist in tandem with qualities of restraint and intricacy. This sense of paradox further emerges in the album’s thematic and lyrical insights where hope, despair and resignation conceive a yearning for free-determination in the midst of personal and contextual limitations.
Exploring and addressing multiple levels and perspectives, emotional and musical, 'A far cry from here' should strike a chord with fans of experimental and progressive-minded classics such as Radiohead’s OK Computer, Talk Talk’s Spirit of Eden and Wilco’s A Ghost Is Born.
“This third album has the celebrated troupe conjuring more icy songs of anxiety and obsession. By veering between extremes of noise and near silence, A Far Cry From Here revels in a sense of unease and is the most obvious sign yet of the band’s move away from its past ‘ambient candy’.” Zul Othman, TODAY
“Exploring and addressing multiple levels and perspectives, emotional and musical, A Far Cry From Here is The Observatory’s bold, ambitious and challenging statement of intent and fact.”
Harold Seah, Flux-Us
“In their latest, A Far Cry From Here, Singapore’s feted experimental collective emerge from this sea of melancholy, ready to take on the world. It’s The Observatory delving deep and venturing into the unknown… This sense of unease, a constant calibration between heaviness and lightness, informs the way the music switches between jazzy delicacy and far-out phases of post-rock noiseniks. It’s both the beauty and the beast... it’s a ghostly, raw, sometimes intense soundscape with minimal overdubs to frighten off lazy lounge cats.”
Yeow Kai Chai, The Straits Times
The Observatory’s music is texturally complex and viscerally emotional, crossing wasted borders and musical extremities that
parallel polarities within human existence, provoking and inspiring in a deeply enigmatic way. The group draws inspiration from their Southeast Asian roots and heroes of new music and art....more