The Modern Congress




Just as we eat comfort food, we listen to comfort music – usually sounds we know and love. Remarkably enough, composer, guitarist and producer Tim Rollinson can make music that fulfils this function straight out of the box. His Modern Congress project’s third album should theoretically be the exact opposite of that, given its digital beats, chilled-out core and steel-and-glass exterior. But countering this is Rollinson’s keen aesthetic sense for sounds that instantly engage.

Truism, with its clean jazz guitar draped over a backdrop of keys, bass and quite “real”-sounding drums, takes us back to his with days acid-jazz darlings Dig. Increasing the intimacy is the on-mike singing of Lauren Dawes, Pat Powell, Tayanita Robertson and Laura Brooker, each of whom has brewed lyrics to ride on Rollinson’s melodies. Powell’s double-tracked Dark Horse is a highlight, enhanced by exotic contributions from saxophonist Rick Robertson and thickened by bassist Alex Hewetson. Rollinson’s clarity of intent is such that none of his 10 tracks has been suffocated by overproduction: they sound cool and warm all at once – which is comforting.