Pat Coyle posits his latest album, Relic of a Rift, as a series of snapshots into the lonely, disconnected lives of alternate selves.
Relic retains the melancholy of Coyle’s previous releases, but sends his sorrow spinning onto a dimly-lit dance floor in a flurry of blipping electronic beats. “Glimmer of Gordon,” which contrasts breezy acoustic guitar and nature imagery (wind blowing through trees, moonlit beaches) with jello-cup synths and faded string patches, sees Coyle describe the experience of walking past the fence of a familiar house (“the metal so cold and intricate”), hoping to catch a glimpse–or maybe just the memory of a feeling–of the person inside. Coyle, his helium-powered voice rising like steam from a kettle, sings, “Even when he’s not there/You’ll see everything you need,” mournfully adding, “Can’t imagine where you thought you went wrong.” The lyrics are written in second person, but you get the picture that Coyle is addressing himself. His sadness is palpable, but the instrumental’s burbling hiss functions as an antidepressant, blurring the emotion’s sharper edges until the throb becomes nothing more than a familiar, bittersweet pulse, a metronome in an empty room counting time to a half-remembered song.