two way mirror

many will see the new sand snowman album two way mirror as a 21st century continuation of a tradition which began with artists like the incredible string band and nick drake, and which continued through into syd barrett's finest moments. they may have a point. for years, sand snowman has spent a quiet life in the heart of london, countering the harsh noises and hectic bustle of this strung-out metropolis with miraculous albums of mysteriously quiet music. his first three full-lengths, released in strictly limited editions and vanishingly small print runs, established a musical cosmos filled with bright wonder: in the best of psychedelic traditions, sand's songs did not fearfully seek for an escape from reality, but subtely twisted its parameters to create delicate shifts in perception. based on a framework of acoustic instruments including mandolins, xylophones, vibes and recorders, and ornamented by atmospheric drones and discrete electronics, themes could either concretise into miniature traditionals or coalesce into long, progressive folk collages. accessible melodic passages and groovy drum shuffles, meanwhile, were juxtaposed by hazy instrumentals and ghostly ambient sections.

after re-releasing i'm not here and the twilight game on vinyl, tonefloat now presents the latest chapter of this trilogy. written over the course of a long winter, two way mirror impresses with an illustrous line-up of guest musicians, which include porcupine tree's steven wilson and singer-songwriter jason ninnis, as well as enigmatic long-time companion moonswift on vocals. despite its star potential, however, the music has only turned more singular: arrangements are more minimal and intimate than ever, concentrating all but exclusively on a fragile balance between guitars, piano and polyphonic vocal harmonies. a sense of plaintive emptiness and pensive solitude is hiding behind the sweetness of the melodies in the opening half of the album, which the silent finale thwarts with experimental zest. the way in which sand segues completely independent songs into coherent, interrelated suites may indeed be comparable to the techniques of others, but he is following in no one's tradition but his own.

two way mirror will be available from tonefloat (distributed through suburban/bertus) on 24 february in two editions: a vinyl edition (limited to 700 copies), and a compact disc edition (the first 500 with an exclusive bonus disc, which is sold out).

two way mirror can be ordered directly from the tonefloat store, but is also available from various other outlets.

vinyl edition:


side 1
1. the butcher's hook (5.50)
2. i spy (3.45)
3. faded flowers (5.22)
4. a vision on the green (2.44)
5. matryoshka, muse of misrule (1.51)

side 2
6. mirrors (8.23)
7. riverrun (2.49)
8. neurotic zoo (3.28)
9. kites (4.49)

compact disc edition:


disc 1
1. the butcher's hook (5.50)
2. i spy (3.45)
3. faded flowers (5.22)
4. a vision on the green (2.44)
5. matryoshka, muse of misrule (1.51)
6. mirrors (8.23)
7. riverrun (2.49)
8. neurotic zoo (3.28)
9. kites (4.49)

tour dates

sand snowman will be appearing at tonefloat live, alongside fear falls burning and theo travis:

monday 30 march - spirit of 66, verviers (belgium)
tuesday 31 march - movie, bielefeld (germany)
wednesday 01 april - paradox, tilburg (holland)