Dusted Reviews

The Remote Viewer - Let Your Heart Draw a Line

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Reviews

Artist: The Remote Viewer

Album: Let Your Heart Draw a Line

Label: City Centre Offices

Review date: Apr. 10, 2005

Craig Tattersall and Andrew Johnson, founding members of Hood, now working together as The Remote Viewer after a brief stint as the Famous Boyfriend, are part of a peculiar strain of Very English Music with a history almost as underground and esoteric as the England’s Hidden Reverse faction of Coil, Current 93 and Nurse With Wound. The duo is connected to operatives as diverse as Sarah Records artists Boyracer, Stewart Anderson’s 555 label, Empress, Third Eye Foundation, and potting-shed drone artist John Clyde-Evans. This back-history shores up The Remote Viewer’s aesthetic: electronic music that is melancholy and diffident, drawing on the humility and existentialism of Hood, the minimalism of Empress’ drowsy pop songs, and the indie pop of Sarah.

Let Your Heart Draw a Line is as divisive as The Remote Viewer’s other albums. The duo often teeters on the edge of misery, sounding effortlessly downcast. Some schmuck once tried to pin ‘bedroom electronica’ as a genre tag for this slightly gauche breed of introverted musing, and they almost got it right: this music is defiantly alone, happy to sit away from everyone, slightly dejected, pondering its inability to breathe life into its own quarters. When The Remote Viewer fall into this trap, they are no different to the drippy skulking and perpetual underachievement of so many discs clogging the release schedules of imprints like Morr Music and The Leaf Label.

Thankfully, the duo often escapes the wallow intrinsic to so much modern bedroom music. Let Your Heart Draw a Line excels when they discover a ‘lexicon of intimacy’ - where their diminutive songs imply familiarity and warmth. This is audible in the hesitant breaths that puncture “Kindtransport” or the unsticking of guest vocalist Nicola Hodgkinson’s lips at the beginning of “Take Your Lights With You.” It’s not just the human voice that offers this ‘out,’ as instrumentals like “To Completion” gleam with delicate detail, essaying resonant miniatures that – as with the best of this sub-set of electronica, such as Colleen, To Rococo Rot, and Fennesz – privilege space and restraint, allowing a kind of semi-ambivalence that hints at emotional responses rather than floundering in melancholy indulgence. If The Remote Viewer’s bloodlines are awkward indie and pastoral pop, they could do well to emphasize the pastoral and its plenitude of expressive contours, rather than the mawkish sentiment that bogs down some of their output. Because a good portion of Let Your Heart Draw a Line is undeniably lovely - music that’s small but quietly proud, a late-night exegesis on transitory states.

By Jon Dale

Other Reviews of The Remote Viewer

Here I Go Again On My Own

Read More

View all articles by Jon Dale

Find out more about City Centre Offices

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.