“I want to lose, I want to keep, I want to lose the boundary lines”, Marc Rigelsford sings on “Great Life”, conveying the dichotomy which runs through the multi-instrumentalist’s latest offering. At the centre of the record is his intimate vocal, seemingly capable of churning out an infinite stream of catchy, albeit straightforward melodies. Paired with an acoustic guitar or piano, these melodies come together under traditional pop structures which in isolation would cement Rigelsford as a competent, if not especially imaginative, singer-songwriter. Surrounding this core however is a startling fanfare of intricate instrumentation: layers of brass, strings and synths far exceed the traditional expectations of a one man bedroom project.
Occasionally these two sensibilities coalesce majestically, as on the early highlight “Warning Sign”. An isolated piano riff, chiming like raindrops, suddenly gives way to a deliciously 60s tinged saunter of a bass line, synths floating by above. When the chorus comes around, Rigelsford’s vocal evolves into a brass ensemble, an effortless sigh with which the song’s various elements seamlessly merge. It’s a shame then that Images Rolling doesn’t maintain this sense of cohesion throughout. On the contrary, despite its ornate production, the record ultimately makes for a jarring listening experience, Rigelsford’s ambitious forays in instrumentation coming at the cost of a guiding aesthetic.
While Rigelsford might find himself letting the images roll on by, there’s enough promise on this record to suggest that if he were to dedicate himself to just one there’s no doubt that he’d be able to create something very interesting indeed.