Undeservedly overlooked, apart holds a distinctive place within the vital discography of The Apartments. First released by the Australian label Hot Records in 1997, and heralding a lengthy hiatus, this album contains some of the most exquisite sound gems elegantly presented to us by Peter Milton Walsh.
In this work, the piano, trumpet, strings, and synthetic beats step forward, leaving the electric guitar behind. Sprinkled throughout are instrumental haikus and subtle jazz inflections. The dark and captivating rendition of Baudelaire’s poem “To the Reader” [“Welcome to Walsh World”], translated by Robert Lowell, stands at the heart of the album. And, as ever, there’s the deeply moving and beautiful singing.
A summery yet nocturnal record, Apart radiates a definite air of nonchalance, innocent joy, and soft melancholy: it speaks of passing time, lost things, the present moment, and an already dawning future.
A quarter-century on, it’s clear that the approach to these songs has evolved, taking on new shades of meaning. And the magnificent finale “Everything Is Given to be Taken Away” once again leaves us speechless.
For the first time, Apart is being issued in vinyl format (double LP, remastered version) as well as digitally.