Across the Depths of Seven Lakes
Listening to Picture One is equally surrealistic as it is comforting in the way Thomas Barnwell embraces 1980s synth pop and post punk’s memory bank. Across the Depths of Seven Lakes was not written with our current world situation in mind, yet the album feels artistically relevant to the times. On “Love Spell,” Barnwell builds imagery of wanting to be proactive when everything around you spins out of control. The song serves as punctuation. The idea converts to understanding and philosophizing significant loss. But there is transference and illuminating magic in the sincere poppy beats that lift up Barnwell’s hollow voice. The comforting factor is that even in the dark corners there is hope.
“Resolute: The Absolute” is an abrasive opener to the album. Like a siren, Picture One’s usage of echo and production send out barking orders that get your immediate attention. It’s cyberpunk sentiments and haunting technology that make it more distant from the human emotions that created it.
But as much as it catches you off guard, it builds a dynamic that transforms throughout the release. Picture One turns the sincerity of the human condition upside down while exploring intimacy in a song like “Winter’s Kiss.” The song extrapolates warehouse dance culture with its rigid dancefloor antics. The song surrounds you in its cinematic excellence.
We feel the coldwave effect of “Limerrce No. 1,” while the 1980s British synthwave sound haunts “Lily Pad.” Lyrically, it’s a goths dream that floats artistic and arcane imagery. Is this Thomas Barnwell or is this Andrew Eldritch?
Going back to “Love Spell, Barnwell sings,
“To say goodbye
To bid farewell
Our hearts have leapt into the deep.”
This abyss is what makes Across the Depths of Seven Lakes’s music a gravitational pull into its own beautiful purgatory. We listen to these songs as we fall into a parallel dimension of our own minds.