Peak Plasma Conc., 2008
“A soundtrack for driving around the city at night” is how Australia’s Steven Heath depicts his latest release and it’s not a far fetched description; the overall feeling that it leaves behind is that of cold, lonely nights with the radio as your only companion.
Recorded in a friend’s spare room, The Airport Fire is Heath’s second EP. It follows Tel Aviv and continues in the same vein as its predecessor, telling small tales of empty streets and soulless airports.
“We Enter the Gulf” does not kick start the record with a bang but rather gently introduces you to Heath’s husky, whispery singing and low-key guitar playing. While not one of the strongest tracks from the EP, does feel like the beginning of a story of someone arriving and then searching, a theme which continues throughout the record. “Falling In” brings the quality up a notch with lines such as “Upwards we stare and counting the stars that are missing…speak to me before I lose this signal”, conveying a story of the search for a lost loved one. In the darker “Industrial Lights” the pursuit is not for another person but for answers to the life-long question “Why am I here?”, where Heath menacingly breathes “You have no idea what harm I can bring you.”
While Steven Heath does not stand out particularly in the crowded group of singer-song writer/nu-folk artists The Airport Fire’s downbeat nature makes for quite a beautiful record. It may not be the soundtrack for everyone’s nightly drive, since the EP is so mellow there is a risk you might nod off behind the wheel and is perhaps better suited for a relaxing night in.