Whether you know it or not, Alexander Shields has always been here. At least, that's how it might feel to him, recording as A Grave with No Name for nearly a decade, he's always seemed just at the periphery of 'what's going on' in his indie lane. To date, some of his projects have garnered looks, perhaps Whirpool most so, with its ghostly stories, but all seem to slip back into the nether of under-heard, underappreciated.

The UK musician remains laser focused on genre flirtations as art, regardless. Never satisfied within folk trappings, songs are layered in atmosphere, whether via found sound or ambient elements. Passover, dare we say it, finally feels like the album that could serve as a tad of a break through for him. A Grave with No Name can at times remind of Phil Elverum with its murky vibes and emotions, creating the feeling of listening from a distance. Shields lacks, or rather, has little interest in, the noise of a Mount Eerie project (though the sounds of 'Wreath' in particular may bring to mind a more accessible Sauna), opting for tidier, deceptively sweet sounds, but the comparison is particularly apt here.

The album was recorded in the wake of Shields' grandmother passing, whom he had shared a home with, and presumably been cared for by, in his youth. Returning to her now muted, empty home, he wrote the songs that came to form Passover.

To be sure, Shields isn't going for the visceral punch that was A Crow Looked at Me. Naturally, the loss of a lover and partner differs vastly from that of an elder, but the more gentle emotions here still feel more by design, casting an impression of restraint. He instead is interested in a more wistful picture, the reflections that come after, often the seemingly random memories that resurface – both related and unrelated – and, importantly, the moving on.

Opener 'Supper' recalls a winter living with his sister, finding Shields in a more broad reflective space. 'By the Water's Edge', on the other hand, immediately dives in to the more stark feelings at play here, with his lyrics remembering his lost loved one, wondering if he recalls each aspect of her life truly. He walks to a river (whether symbolic or actual) where she had once washed her feet, only to find it frozen in the cold of winter. A fitting image, to be sure.

Passover may be an album of grieving, but it is not beholden to the process. While many albums of loss are as hard to hear as they are beautiful, Shields has opted for a somewhat more welcoming approach. He shares what he needs to, perhaps what we needed to hear, and keeps just enough for himself. It's a giving record in a selfish time, a dwindling fire offering just a bit more solace as this winter finally comes to a close.