THOTSN

THOTSN

THOTSN
THOTSN
self-released

A few years ago, the singer and songwriter locally known as Moses Atwood left his home state of Maine for the musical enclave of Asheville, North Carolina. Now he’s returned from that journey, having removed a veil (he now records by his birth name, Matthew Clay Chase) and recorded an album about the circumstances that make the whole of humanity move away. THOTSN is the duo of Chase and his brother-in-law, Ira Sterling. The name is an acronym for The Horn Of The Spiral Night. This self-titled debut traces a narrative arc established by sci-fi concept albums of the ’60s and ’70s. It follows the quest of the Narwhal, a spaceship transporting humankind to a new world on the other side of the galaxy, Earth having been drained of its ability to support life. And while it leans on some well-weathered touchstones, like the mechanical hum Pink Floyd often used like a musical bed, THOTSN employs and expands the rock palate in refreshing ways. “Speed of Light” nicks Supertramp’s trademark electric-piano sound and sends it into orbit. Odd percussive rumblings and ominous accordion notes give “Lost in Space” a Tom Waitsian flair. The sighing AI ballad “Narwhal’s Lament” has echoes of The Moody Blues’ psychedelic soft rock. The result is brighter, poppier music than one might expect on a dystopian concept album set at the end of the world, and there’s nary an extended guitar solo to be found. This is prog songcraft even people who hate Yes can say yes to.