Chris Riley - In The Haze

(Nice Mind Records, NICE018)
Digital Download - £1

An original single and b-side written and recorded in and inspired by the second phase of the UK 2020 lockdown.

Label scribe VH Monks writes on the release below:

"Both of the new acoustic tracks featured on this single cut from Nice Mind’s lead minstrel are much more personal and straightforward than much of what came with Cestrian, Riley’s album that arrived a few months ago, and yet they carry a fair load and the magnitude of what 2020 has delivered all the same.

With these nostalgic trips comes the weight of the clime, and while his album came together in lockdown, you can feel these were songs borne out of it; brief escapism to memory and the battering of liberty.

But you should free yourself with them really.

‘In the Haze’ is a mature take on a youthful escapade forgotten, and then more, perhaps your entire ancestry behind you, entwined into a pale, translucent thread. It bleeds into being, the intimate guitar nestled in a somehow vibrant but barely-there synth cocoon, and then this quietly shattering music sends small spells of thunder around the titular refrain. Like the cover, it’s a colourful ripple across history and mind, a luminous flash over lullaby and shadows, a burning flame through calm and waning. Sometimes lightning strikes over the most still of lakes.

From the sometimes forlorn, to that black and white photo of your grandparents goofing about, a twinkle in the old man’s crooked smile. ‘There’ll Never Be (Another You)’ is pretty in twee, but not excessively or mawkishly so. Just unabashedly open and heart pumpingly gentle, a carefree runaway compared to its pairing. Stumbling tumbling memories ride over peels of skip hop picks, tender but racing into the past, rushing to grab onto an ethereal image that whispers from history. The spiralling guitar that fades in echo to close is like waking up in a cold sweat and smiles.

Chris sings on both of these tracks as if channeling the feelings of a past self, a natural relaxed warm tone, reflective and emotive, an occasional echo at peace with himself, if not certain moments that taunt (haunt?) him.

Songs to play with, to rest with, to grow with."

-VH Monks- October 2020

Available to stream and download from Nice Mind Records here.