Golden Dregs members break out as Sculpture on patiently expressive debut.

‘Here You’ is a charming introduction, impressively capable of drawing out the maximum value of every layer of its arrangement.

Photo: Hank Chadwick | Words: Lloyd Bolton

Sculpture are a new act led by Ted Mair (who can also be found playing with The Golden Dregs), who recently joined the fold of the wonderful Tapir!-run label My Life is Big. They have been quietly winning fans with understatedly beautiful live sets across the capital. Debut release ‘Here You’ situates the band amid an ever-growing scene of London groups embracing acoustic instrumentation and post-rock arrangements, evoking the confident sparseness of caroline and the decided slowness of Joseph Futak’s latest double A. In the track’s restrained arrangement, each instrument is introduced with a poignant respectfulness as we cut cinematically between bass, piano, voice and wind.

‘Here You’ sways like long summer grass, with Matt Merriman’s brushed drums lilting as they chase Mair’s lead piano. His singing further suggests Futak’s work, as well as the bittersweet artlessness of Belle and Sebastian’s Stevie Jackson. The patient delivery of the song imbues it with a sense of suppressed yearning and gives room for every line to take charge of the mood. We feel the longing of the opening line, “I followed you for as long as I could / But I can’t anymore”, in its slow unfurling. Later, we feel deeply the redemptive quality of the unfinished consideration, “But I’ll try to catch”, coming as it does on a wave of piano arpeggios that burst out of a solitary bass note.

This debut single is beguilingly arranged, constantly shifting its emphasis with masterful subtlety. It makes for a charming introduction to the group ahead of the release of Sculpture’s debut collection ‘Lichtenberg Figure’ next month.