This Pale Fire‘s Alchemy is a svelte modern folk record that focuses on atmosphere and space. The delicate electric fingerpicking, emotion-wracked voice, and subtle arrangements of Corban Koschak’s project call up dusky visions and streetlight thoughts from the awestruck opener “Northern Lights” to the piano-led hush of “Outro.”
In between, there are moments of pristine chill (“The Sky,” “Mountains”) solid popcraft (“Float Out”), and post-rock fury (“End of Science”), although the album is much more heavily weighted to the former two (“Wolf,” “The Stag”). Strings, percussion, and other elements wend their way through the work, but it’s Koschak’s confident, engaging voice that takes center stage throughout. Fans of Hozier, Vance Joy, Passenger, and other serious singer/songwriters will find much to love here.
Alchemy releases December 1.