sir Was Holding On To A Dream album coverThe man we once called “enamoured with the world” has opened out the low-slung, breakbeat collages of debut Digging A Tunnel (2017) to reveal the flesh underneath, in a brilliant evolution of musical ideation.

Joel Wastberg’s (sir Was) new album Holding On To A Dream still has a lo-fi buzz around its bones, but sees hope amplified and purpose sprout. “All I want to do is fly away! No hindrance in the way! I’m a dreamer,” he hollers on the opener; meanwhile, No More Separation directly recalls lyrics from previous hit Falcon but warms the renewed sentiment with bells and sweet vocal meanderings.

Organ-daubed single Deployed features fellow Swedes Little Dragon and proves Wastberg’s still an expert with a sly piano riff, and discerning, downward pitch-shift on some vocals (Trust, See U Again) lends the material the same seductive extra wrinkles the technique gave Emma Louise’s Lilac Everything.

These tracks are messages of connection from a musician whose constant curiosity has set him up to be one of his class’s brightest, coolest soundsmiths.

Holding On To A Dream by sir Was is out September 20 via Memphis Industries.

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