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Hotspring: Apodelia

"Apodelia functions as a series of vignettes tied together and
enhanced when heard front to back"

In an era with ease of access to different instruments, presets, and software, it doesn’t come as a surprise that so artists experiment across genres. In the case of Vancouver, British Columbia artist Scott Gailey, the care and dedication he puts into his releases is as stunning as the variety of sounds produced.

Gailey has collaborated with C3D-E and Hashman on a lo-fi dub techno workout for 0 Records; spun a stirring take on musique concrète and ambient wanderings with ‘Polysensuality, released under his own name on Séance Centre; and he’s distilled and synthesised his vision most effectively under the Hotspring moniker. The 2020 release ‘Obit For Sunshade set the template: moody, dubby, noir-y electronics with jazzy, downtempo undertones that present as an abstracted trip-hop session.

Gailey’s latest Hotspring release, ‘Apodelia’ on Mood Hut, refines the sound and vision of the project and ventures further down the rabbit hole of experimental sounds. Like previous releases, Gailey doesn’t drop any bangers or opt for one track to be a highlight over the rest of the album. ‘Apodelia’ functions as a series of vignettes tied together and enhanced when heard front to back.

Opener “Blood” resembles a ghostly robotic singer-songwriter confessional straight out of Twin Peaks, and closing track “Three of Swords” projects a lo-fi guitar line through the granular hiss and fuzz of the dust and decay of time. In between are moments of beguiling beauty, ranging from floating ambient interludes to sun-drenched trip hop.

Day, Moment” embodies the poppier side of the record, with hushed vocals pitched, bent, and reduced to a ghostly shadow lingering over the synths, strings, and percussion. Elsewhere, “Fifty Summers” is like a synth pop ballad left in an old-growth forest and picked up years or decades later. The sound is fittingly warm, moss-strewn, and absorbing. Hotspring’s ability to mesh pop structures with an experimental sensibility blends well with the remainder of the record, which includes shorter, free-form pieces beamed in from a dusted corner of the speakers.

Glanzstraße 6” is a gorgeous loop of pianos and atmospherics, eliciting feelings of melancholy, curiosity, and contentment. It’s a brief track but it washes over you and leaves an imprint that’s hard to shake. “Dealt Hand” is another piece of Apodelia’s abstract, instrumental half, this time offering a sinister, haunted hypnagogic aura. The track doesn’t impart fear as it does the unease of watching moments pass and wash away like waves on the shore.

While these are highlights of the record, ‘Apodelia’ is meant to be heard in its entirety. Gailey’s vision is one with turns toward the familiar and experiments with the unfamiliar. At times it comes off as a splintered folk-tronica record; at others, it takes spectral, sedated sounds and processes them into a ghostly mirror image of easy listening.

Throughout, ‘Apodelia’ offers an enticing, inscrutable style that forgoes the algorithm and compels listeners to sit down and listen. One can come in as a newcomer or a fan and find elements that resonate. Results may vary from listener to listener, but Hotspring has produced one of the year’s most beguiling, fascinating albums.

‘Apodelia’ is scheduled for release on 10th May via Mood Hut. Order a copy from Bandcamp.


1. Blood
2. Could You
3. Day, Moment
4. Dealt Hand
5. Don’t Hum without Me
6. Fifty Summers
7. Glanzstraße 6
8. Organ with Fire
9. Three of Swords

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