It’s early yet in 2019 but the arrival of Rustin Man’s Drift Code could very well carry the year as the surprise you didn’t know you needed, but you’re sure glad it’s here. Rustin Man is the long-dormant nom de plume for former Talk Talk bassist Paul Webb. Last seen in 2002 co-authoring Beth Gibbons from Portishead’s Out Of Season album, Webb’s 17 years since then have been spent crafting the wobbly magic of Drift Code. Drift Code manages to nudge up to the edges of numerous rock-pop worlds while maintaining something uniquely all its own. Webb’s vocal delivery is uncannily Bowie… if Bowie had semi-retired to a wilderness preserve after 1976. The music, meticulously pieced together by Webb himself in a converted studio barn, hints of Pink Floyd or Moody Blues stripped of their high drama for something more gently psilocybic. Leadoff track “Vanishing Heart” sets the tone admirably as an anachronistic mediation on mockingbirds and a certain sort of summertime sadness. It’s “Our Tomorrows,” however, which may be the high mark for Drift Code. Punctuated by purposeful horns and threaded with a certain existential angst, it represents all of Drift Code‘s most transportive qualities. More than anything else, these songs take you places and this is Drift Code‘s best asset. Where those place may be is up to the individual listener, but it’s a journey worth pursuing.
Watch Rustin Man’s “Vanishing Heart”