Today, musician, composer and producer Thomas Bartlett released his debut solo album Shelter. It consists of eight gorgeous piano compositions, each named after a different type of rose. In fact, you might’ve already heard some of Bartlett’s music today and not even known it—Bartlett played synths on Taylor Swift’s much-hyped new album folklore, which also dropped today.
Bartlett’s past credits are pretty extensive. He’s recorded under the name Doveman and played in groups like The Gloaming and Popcorn Behavior, plus he’s collaborated with the likes of Sufjan Stevens, St. Vincent, Yoko Ono and Mandy Patinkin. He also co-produced Haux’s fantastic 2020 album Violence in a Quiet Mind. Back in the mid 2000s, he even wrote a few music reviews for Paste.
Okay, now back to his new solo LP Shelter. Bartlett found himself inspired by the nocturne format—compositions that evoke the night—while in lockdown, so he turned that inspiration into eight vulnerable instrumental works. On “Xanthina,” you can hear uninhibited joy meet a difficult roadblock and then fall into devastating grief before surrendering to silence. It’s an album of subtle emotional nuances, but each melodic shift feels like a wave. With such a keen sense of melody, he makes reverence and devotion sound dazzling and tangible, but never mawkish.
Click here to stream Shelter, and listen to “Lucida” below.