Trying to keep the habit of lockdown walking going hasn't been easy especially in the last month. Working late, getting home in the dark and then forcing myself to go out at 9pm, even if it's just a circuit round the block takes a bit of effort when it's wet and cold out and warm inside. It's been important to look for little celebrations this year, moments of light to cheer the spirits slightly. Today is the winter solstice and that seems like something worth marking, the darkest of all the days but the turning point too, when it starts getting a little bit lighter for longer every day.
Mark Peters album from 2018 Innerlands was an instrumental journey through the landscape and place names of the north west of England. He followed it with an ambient version, all the drums taken off and just the synths, chiming guitars and atmospherics. Both are winter solstice sounding to me. This track, Ashurst's Beacon, closes both albums.
Here's the flipside. Exactly six months ago Rich Lane released a gorgeous summer song to mark the summer solstice, a song for the longest day- slow motion, Balearic synthpop. Get it at Bandcamp. Rich has released several pieces of new music throughout 2020 and it's all worth exploring.