We are excited to be premiering Thistle Sifter‘s newest single and music video for ‘To Kingdom Come‘ here at CVLTARTES. The track is taken from the new album “Circles“, due for release on 26th January 2024 both digitally and on vinyl. As well as the upcoming album, ‘To Kingdom Come‘ tackles some weighty topics and conveys them through bursts that are inspired by the artist’s own life experiences.

Thistle Sifter is an ambient instrumental post-rock project by English artist and musician Pete Barnes. The new album “Circles” is the follow-up to 2022’s debut “A Spectral Moon”, based on a serious cycling accident that catapulted Barnes into disarray in November 2020.

Written during an extended recovery period and far from family and friends in England, “Circles” is inspired by personal struggles with health, acceptance, and letting go of the past. Post-concussion syndrome symptoms forced Barnes to live a secluded life out of necessity, and during this time music became the ideal therapy. The result is a powerful ambient instrumental record inspired by Brexit, Covid, and the difficult, ongoing path to Barnes’ recovery.

Getting back to ‘To Kingdom Come‘, this is a thematic track with a powerful concept of atmospheric elements in movie soundtrack form. The piece begins so beautifully, and expands ever-so-slowly, where melancholic tones interwines producing a ‘great sadness’, more like a requiem for all that has been lost.

This track marks yet one large impact for Pete Barnes, as it seems that he screams into the void one last time, unable to change the trajectory of his world, but rails against the feeling of despair. The more you dive into the track, the sadder it gets. However, there is a continuous cycle throughout the song, from sadness to anger to back at it again, a tragedy of repetition that unfortunately has become a part of human existence.

The song, however, evokes a particularly joyful and bright feeling when you finish listening to it, a feeling that creates a sense of place that is unmatchable in its joy. ‘To Kingdom Come‘ soars into the stratosphere, inviting you to dream. Whether it was expected or not, the overriding theme of this single is that even amid devastation and destruction, there is always hope that the sun will rise again. Thistle Sifter may be saddened or angry about what he has gone through, but he still puts it all aside, as if to tell himself, ‘Keep going, you’ve got this’.

Overall, ‘To Kingdom Come‘ is a moving, profound, ambient track that relaxes your mind and soothes the soul in unexpected ways while sending echoes of missed and lost opportunities hurtling the mind. While there are evident moments of melancholy, what makes the single so beautiful and exciting is perhaps the glimmer of hope one can perceive.

Music by Pete Barnes.
Additional guitars by Tom Broshuis.
Production by Tom Broshuis at Heirloom Studios.
Mixed by Simon Akkermans at Epic Rainbow Unicorn Studios.
Mastered by Pier-Durk Hogeterp.
Video by Nici Metselaar.
Additional visuals by Sam Blackwell and Thomas van Gaalen.

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Still can't tell exactly my origins because of my suspiciously ‘Chinese eyes’.