"So christen these kind hearts with names they don't deserve, and measure out the sanity that falls into lunacy, hung bitter, sweet-faded and lost."
Despite his stunning vocal performances on This Mortal Coil's Filigree & Shadow, Dominic Appleton's band Breathless was inexplicably fated to spend the next two decades toiling away in abject obscurity despite being one of the more interesting and talented Post-Punk bands of the mid-eighties. Breathless integrated the dark dream-pop associated with the 4AD label with Appleton's dramatic (and sometimes sinister) vocals, sounding, at times, like a more straightforward version of Dead Can Dance or a more lushly ornate version of Joy Division. On The Glass Bead Game, named after a Hermann Hesse novel, Appleton & co. traverse some dark sonic territory, such as on the memorable "Monkey Talk," where Appleton's vocals take on the cadence of a death-chant as foreboding guitar textures and rolling percussion slowly build a soundscape of beauty and dread. For anyone interested in 4AD-style gloom, Breathless will be a revelation.
The Glass Bead Game (1999 Re-issue Edition)
1. Across the Water (4:54)
2. All My Eye and Betty Martin (5:22)
3. Count on Angels (4:39)
4. Monkey Talk (7:31)
5. Every Road Leads Home (3:54)
6. Touchstone (5:21)
7. Sense of Purpose (4:20)
8. See How the Land Lies (6:28)
9. Stone Harvest (6:14)