Delicate, Satie-inspired synth compositions from Portland.
But the setting could be almost too perfect: the notion of New Age-inspired synth music as an aural bubblebath is as clichéd as whale song and scented candles. But Sutton wriggles free of ambient tropes as easily as she does her classical training. That said, she credits Erik Satie as an influence here, and his cyclical motifs are most apparent in "Ice World"'s fragile refrain. The composer's spiritual descendant Brian Eno can be heard in "Lullaby"'s mellifluous echoes and harmonic richness.
Describing her approach to writing for synth, Sutton said she was fascinated by the way that "every time you sit down at it you can discover a new sound or alter an old sound to keep it fresh," whereas "the piano always sounds more or less as it did before." You can sense that delight in the instrument's possibilities in the nimble keys across "Nocturne," or in "Reverie"'s gently reverberating cascade of notes.
Though composed instead of improvised, the music seems to progress intuitively. The LP's sense of drift is often in keeping with its aquatic themes. The bright melodies of "Revolver" could be sunlight dappling the water's surface as fuzzier tones bubble below. "Barcarolle" rocks as gently as the gondolas that inspired the title. Sutton has produced remarkably evocative music from a stripped-back set-up, making The Deep End a revitalising listen wherever you experience it.