Robert Sotelo is a cosmic pop melodist; a heartfelt multi-instrumentalist whose direct songs are curiously affecting. His debut album ‘Cusp’ from 2017 was packed with miniature psych overtures and earnest musings, he then followed this up in 2018 with an album called ‘Botanical’, more keyboard-minded and playful with its near-absurdist palette of sound and reflective mood. This September Upset The Rhythm will release Sotelo’s third album ‘Infinite Sprawling’, his first record since relocating from London to Glasgow and partly inspired by his new city’s inclusive and collaborative musical world.
Recorded with Ruari MacLean (of Vital Idles, Golden Grrrls) and Edwin Stevens (Irma Vep, Yerba Mansa) at their home studio Namaste Sound, ‘Infinite Sprawling’ grew out of Sotelo’s sketchbook of skeletal songs, with MacLean and Stevens developing their own drum, guitar and keyboard parts. These songs pulled together like a wakeful stretch on a Sunday morning, flowering with a lightness of touch, sounding both carefree and brisk.
This keenly robust album of new beginnings and strategies for living is quietly drawn to a close with ‘Message Of Beauty’, a relaxed ballad of drowsy farewells, swoons of violin and swirled clouds of organ drone. It occupies the very heart of the album, interested in adjustment and resolution in a muted, delicate manner. ’Infinite Sprawling’ is an album born out of new friendships, in a new country and for all its feet-finding sounds confident and emphatically considered. It’s a work of autofiction in search of quietude, a sublime treatise on the nostalgic threads of rock music, but more than that it’s a signpost to the next destination, a place where Sotelo knows he’s content to have arrived already.