Review: Blue Lily Commission – ‘Shall We Go for a Walk?’ (released October 1, 2019)
Blue Lily Commission is the solo project of UK multi-instrumentalist Steve Palmer (who also headed up Mooch). And while the latter focused on psychedelia and space rock, this project combines electronic and ambient styles with world music (Palmer has an impressive array of some 90 or so exotic world instruments that he has learned to play). His latest effort, Shall We Go for a Walk? features one single 46-minute track which is actually a number of shorter related pieces connected by ambient sounds of birds, animals, rain and wind and the flowing water of a river.
Richly layered and evocative, all the parts have similar elements that connect them to the greater whole, seemingly mirroring the interconnectedness of nature and the cosmos, with its infinite variations. Pastoral and beautiful, drifting, exotic melodies emerge from deep textures of sound, often set to a steady but languidly paced drumbeat, punctuated by short moments of acoustic, folky music. You can just imagine walking through the countryside surrounded by the tranquil magnificence of nature, although what countryside it is, is open to debate! Nonetheless, it’s a peaceful and rejuvenating experience. In the final 15-minutes, the music starts to become a little stranger, the melodies weirder, the synths spacey and more cosmic as the percussion picks up its pace, making one wonder where this path we are on leads to! It’s an exciting shift though, into a more dream-like and surrealist landscape.
Shall We Take a Walk? is, incredibly, the 27th release from the very prolific Palmer, but each album he puts out has its own unique feel and dimension, and this release is no exception. If you want to put your earbuds in and go for an actual walk while listening, or just want to kick back with the headphones on in the comfort of your own home and imagine going for a walk, this is a soundtrack filled with wander and wonder, whichever way you choose. It may also lead you to a deeper understanding of the world around you and our place in the universe, if you let it!
For more info, and to stream or purchase the album, visit: https://bluelilycommission.bandcamp.com/album/shall-we-go-for-a-walk