by / July 31st, 2015 /

CFCF – Radiance and Submission

 3/5 Rating

(Driftless Recordings)

Incandescent chill-out fusing some interesting elements of traditional folk music, Radiance and Submission, the third full-length album from Montreal-based electronic musician Michael Silver, aka CFCF, is a lovely, yet largely unexciting listen.

A self-taught artisan of the modern electronic sound, CFCF has followed up 2013’s engaging sophomore LP Outside with a more subtle, nicely structured, yet highly subdued creation. Lacking in the atmospheric, sometimes foreboding magnetism that characterised its predecessor, Radiance and Submission is a far more serene, unobtrusive animal.

Loosely focused around the theme of innocence, with an ongoing motif of children’s voices appearing throughout, the record’s silky flow is rooted in its crisp production and tranquil composition. Some intriguing musical variations (including the addition of the xylophone, wind chimes, and an acoustic guitar), introduce a freshness to proceedings, but as a whole the record lacks spice. 

A mere 32 minutes in length as well, it often struggles to capture the imagination, and although ethereal numbers like ‘In Praise of Shadows’, ‘A Various Language’, and ‘Blanketed in Snow A Place Returned’ do add substance, in genre terms, it remains a far shot from the dark ambience of someone like Fever Ray, or the delicate authenticity of Yann Tiersen’s 2014 album Infinity. A triumph of elegance over endeavour.

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