The Pineapple Thief frontman Bruce Soord shines bright on his new solo album Luminescence, on which he uses music to offer a glimpse into inner peace.
In the ever-evolving world of progressive rock, Bruce Soord's name is one that has become synonymous with innovation and sonic exploration. As the chief songwriter and multi-instrumentalist frontman of he Pineapple Thief, Soord has been a guiding force in shaping the genre's direction over the past decade. Now, he returns with his latest solo album, Luminescence, a deeply introspective journey into the heart of modern urban life.
Inspiration for Luminescence struck Soord during his days on tour, traversing the sprawling metropolises that dot the globe. These urban jungles, bustling with life yet shrouded in the chaos of modern existence, served as the backdrop for Soord's creative exploration. Armed with a field recorder, he captured the ambient sounds and fleeting moments that define these urban landscapes, weaving them into the very fabric of his music.
At the core of Luminescence lies the acoustic guitar, a humble instrument that serves as the album's beating heart. Tracks like "Lie Flat" may appear deceptively simple at first listen, but beneath the surface, Soord's trademark intricacies reveal themselves, a testament to his skillfulness as a songwriter and musician. However, this album is not confined to a single style, it's got many diverse landscapes to explore.
The album's lead track and single, "Dear Life," effortlessly captures Soord's unique brand of poised melancholy. It's a hauntingly beautiful piece that invites listeners to delve into their own reflections. On the other hand, "Nestle In" flirts with electronica, showcasing Soord's versatility and willingness to experiment. Meanwhile, the soaring strings on "Olomouc" create a vivid contrast against the acoustic backdrop of Soord's guitar, painting a portrait of the serenity that the record's title implies.
Luminescence was created in the first half of 2023 at Soord Studios, while additional strings were recorded at RAK Studio 3 in London. Adding another layer of artistry to the album is Andrew Skeet, a long-time member of the Divine Comedy and a musical producer known for his orchestration work in film and TV, including Netflix’s Black Mirror and David Attenborough’s Green Planet. On Luminescence, Skeet took charge of a six-piece string section, arranging and conducting with his usual finesse.
As the album unfolds, it becomes evident that Luminescence is more than just a collection of songs; it's a journey through the labyrinth of our inner landscapes, guided by the gentle strumming of an acoustic guitar and the ethereal strings that dance around it. With each track, Soord invites us to explore the complexities of modern life and discover the elusive inner peace that lies beneath the surface.
In a world that constantly bombards us with noise and distractions, Luminescence serves as a sanctuary of introspection, a place where listeners can find solace and connection in the melodies and stories woven by a true craftsman. Bruce Soord's latest work shows his unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of music, it’s a shining example of his artistry and a beacon in the ever-expanding cosmos of progressive rock.