“I want change,” go the effects-laden, drawn out opening words of Liminal Garden. Sage Fisher, the artist and musician who records as Dolphin Midwives, couldn’t have been more clear about her mission state unless she’d simply titled her debut LP with the same statement.

Change - both good and bad - has taken on an increasingly nebulous meaning to recent generations, with Obama’s catchy promise leading to, well, yes, hope, though perhaps rather less of it than those of us who eagerly voted for him what feels like an epoch ago wished for. The Trump era, by contrast, couldn’t be more afraid of change, inspired only by regression.

While it may seem tiring to open a reflection upon a piece of music with a political discourse, it seems almost necessary to explore our complicated relationship with change. With Brexit, Trump, and global upheaval miring the world, it’s taken on a rather grim connotation.

Yet, here Fisher is, bravely wishing for it. Considering Liminal Garden’s purposeful ambiguity, it’s more than up to the listener whether that very change is imagined as personal, spiritual, global, or some mixture of all that and more. Therein lies the album’s power.

Drawing comparisons to Mary Lattimore and Holly Herndon alike, neither truly fit (nor fully appreciate) Fisher’s sensibilities. True, like Lattimore, she is indeed a harpist, but her interests lie somewhere far murkier than the gorgeous At the Dam or placid Hundreds of Days. Also true, she favors moments of electronic oddity, but Fisher doesn’t seek to uproot in the same manner as Herndon. Instead, she beckons and disarms.

Despite the prominent, repeated vocal of opening track ‘Grass Grow’, Liminal Garden often sees fit to do without words, instead relying on Fisher’s playing, by turns graceful and meaningfully uncertain, as well as the digital compositions she allows to drift in and out of view.

What sort of change is Dolphin Midwives both confronting and embracing? Purely from a listen, we can’t rightly say. In truth, it is largely meant to reflect Fisher’s personal journey, finding herself within the patriarchal world, but it lends itself readily, even graciously, to a listener’s own insecurities and fleeting hopes. The album readily betrays a mixed sense of finding peace and unease.

‘Flux’, with its whirring and clicking, sounds not unlike the machines that open up Ridley Scott’s Alien, and its brief runtime deftly places a bit of dread, even soullessness, into a generally searching, curious soundscape. Fisher herself reflects that the record is meant to, “[find] beauty and acceptance in the fractured, broken and vulnerable places,” and Liminal Garden never shies away from this journey, embracing fear and adoration alike.

It’s 2019, and the global downturn continues as ever: it’s no stretch to say we’re all a bit afraid. Liminal Garden offers you space for those fears, to address and even embrace them. It’s a bit of shelter, and that’s something we can’t afford to turn away right now.