Thursday, May 14, 2020

But Everybody's Gone, So I Will Never Know By Scott Lawlor

But Everybody's Gone, So I Will Never Know
Scott Lawlor
Written by
Steve Sheppard

Life does indeed throw up some strange coincidences, when I was a teenage lad I wrote a short story based on a man who had been in a submarine for months working, he had heard turmoil going on above over the radio chatter, and when he eventually rose to take a look he would find that a pandemic of a truly evil nature had wiped out the entire human race, leaving him as the last man on Earth.

Flip that in the aspect that this Scott Lawlor album is similar in content, but from outer space, then you have a journey that were all partially involved in right now with the album But Everybody's Gone, So I Will Never Know, except in the case of this story and mine from yesteryear, the virus keeps mutating until it destroys all life on the planet. We all of course hope that never happens in our world, but this album is a very graphic voyage of a man stuck in orbit trying to get home, and listening to the airwaves as they tell tales of utter desolation and distress from below.

From the very first track to the last Lawlor has created a true masterpiece of an album, I have got used to this constant flow of genius from the artist, but here on this work he very cleverly combines, suspense, fear, hope, and desperation into each and every piece.

Pandemic Unfolding begins the journey and relays a constant narrative of media chatter and sounds coming across the coms system; something we have all experienced lately, we’re locked in our homes and still the news comes thick and fast and the deaths pile up on our screens.

Departure from Space Station Omega is artistically manifested with an extra sense of urgency written into the weave, through Lawlor’s synths and keyboards one can really feel the astronaut’s agitation and eagerness to do something, the piece is incredibly intense and readies us for the next offering entitled Shelter in Place, a calmer composition that continues this dramatic musical narrative, a slow but defined sense of movement can be found here as we drift onward.

The longest piece off the release is entitled Quarantined in Space. Imagine, you are locked away, safe, but alone, secure, but you have that feeling of dread and a very tangible fear about your own love ones, are they alive, have they survived, or, have they succumbed. The piece gets even deeper at around the half way marker, voice and com chatter and sounds of suffering break into the system, and the sheer tension of this piece and growing apprehension of the entire album is absolutely palpable.

A couple of months ago this happened in reality to our planet, World Closing Down, the pandemic which has ravaged our life, began to close its fingers around our global throat, strangling the economies of even the largest nations and the streets emptied, humanity had been humbled. Here Lawlor portrays that with such a clever artistic endeavour and such a deadly hand upon the keyboards, one can feel and hear the energies of a population now totally lost within the refrains of this piece.

As you can imagine it was too much for our man and he made a decision that would be against his orders, but did that even matter now? Approaching a Condemned World explains a narrative of frustration, he now knows he has condemned himself to death, but the drive to find out all that he can is now far stronger than any survival instinct he has, and through Lawlor’s chilling content the small craft moves closer to a devastated home world.

From this point, our penultimate track off the album, we can now view the utter breakdown of society and the carnage of a world of ghosts before us, within the offering But Everybody's Gone, So I Will Never Know. This dream like interpretation quickly manifests energies of nightmare proportions, the end is no longer near, the end is here, the final cogs and wheels of life are slowing down, the world has moved on, and into the loving arms of a global entropy, and through the medium of the last composition Empty World, we are left with one final visual, decay has replaced despair, hope has been replaced by emptiness, we are now for a last few moments looking upon an barren landscape, and into the very heart of the never ending void itself. Lawlor’s piano here was so poignant and played with such a tenderness of spirit.

I’m not sure how many times I have said this, but each time I do so, I truly mean it, but I believe that But Everybody's Gone, So I Will Never Know in my view is Lawlor’s best work so far. Lawlor has brought into this reality an album that tells a story of something we are all currently living through right now, a terrible pandemic, obviously what we all hope for and what seems to be the case, is that the end game of our nightmare does not follow the same line of narrative as Lawlor’s terrifying tale. However this is one magnificent offering, the artist has stood back, changed the perspective of the current global pandemic, and come up with an album that is so addictive to listen to, so hauntingly real, and so truly disturbing, perhaps it is true that Scott Lawlor is fast becoming the Stephen King of Dark Ambient music.

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