phil tomsett – the sound of someone leaving [fluid audio]

Absence is powerful… 

‘The Sound of Someone Leaving’ is Phil Tomsett’s response to absence. Where there should be life, there is disquieting silence. 


Known for his output as The Inventors of Aircraft, Tomsett has found his music appearing on a variety of stellar labels, including Time Released Sound, Rural Colours, Home Normal, and hibernate. The Sound of Someone Leaving announces his return to Fluid Audio. Accompanied by Aaron Martin, who provides a beautiful, stirring cello, this release is a reflective and hard-hitting work. Tomsett’s music is ethereal and wisp-thin, on the verge of disappearing completely. 

One can feel the pain of absence as the music flows through a series of light, ambient-touched tones. The music seems to defy gravity as it hovers in the air, the vocals echoing distantly, remembering her voice. Synths, strings, and choral vocals are intertwined in a careful way, and Ian Hawgood’s reel-to-reel analogue mastering is crucial to the music’s delicate, paper-thin tonality, while also enabling the sound itself to exist beyond the fabric of time. No matter the decade, the story of loss and newfound absence is repeated – looped, one may say. 

As such, the music feels timeless, somehow rooted in the past and forever stamped upon the environment thanks to its deep layers and nostalgic crackles, the sound itself trying to transform into or somehow resemble the person who has now moved on. In their place, where they once stood, one will either find wreckage or closure. The choral additions add a sombre tone to proceedings, but recovery is always possible, and the music is lifted up on its lighter, stronger vocals. When it’s ready, it can move on, too. Tomsett adds to the texture by bringing in a deeper, droning bass on ‘It’s Not An Escape, It’s A Release’, which is a powerful track with an equally powerful message. Music is a cathartic release, and Tomsett doesn’t hold back on the emotional front. 

‘When someone isn’t there anymore, the empty space is charged with emotional power. As if the act of vanishing leaves behind an ethereal, supernatural signature’. 

As ever, the closing of one door leads to the opening of another. Without the experience of loss, The Sound of Someone Leaving would not be in existence, and that is a silver sliver of light in an otherwise clouded sky. 

Everything at once, then nothing.

released September 13, 2020 

Arrangement, looping, layering, synths, production: Phil Tomsett
Cello: Aaron Martin
Mastering: Ian Hawgood
Print design: Craig Tattersall
Packaging design: Daniel Crossley

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