The idea came to him in a dream but to hear Pacific Heights' Devin Abrams tell it, it sounded more like a nightmare. A young father-to-be sets sail from England to find a better life for his family in the Pacific, but instead finds only grim death on a lonely island after being shipwrecked in a brutal storm.
This is the bleak concept behind A Lost Light, the fourth album since Abrams left drum & bass stadium shakers Shapeshifter, and is the direct follow-up to 2016's award-winning The Stillness.
As its concept suggests, you'll not be spinning A Lost Light to get the party started. No. This is a moody and heavy trip with each song effectively soundtracking a part of the young chap's doomed expedition. Really, the best word to describe it is cinematic.
Opening with the ornate piano motif of single The Greystone, Abrams soon introduces the sort of rolling beats and deep bass that defines his Pacific Heights sound. The tasteful grooves here a far cry from the hard-hitting slam of d&b.
In fact, the beats almost feel incidental, fading in and dropping out of the rich, lush soundscapes of the album with little fanfare. Just another part of the sonic tapestry, not the main event.
As a listening experience A Lost Light is heavy (The End is in Sight), reflective (Frozen Tears), emotional (The Colour of the Night), haunting (the title track) and often quite beautiful (Forgotten Times, My Dear Love Pt. 1).
While his protagonist's ship may have sunk, Abrams himself navigates the sombre concept with determination and ease. His production is intricate and detailed, with cinematic sonic flourishes buried deep in the mix, and there's no question about the album's power to affect your mood.
A Lost Light is an emotional journey that flips between hope and despair in equal measure. If you're not in a reflective headspace when you put it on, you sure will be by the time it finishes.
A Lost Light
An album to truly get lost in.