Consider Whatever Reason’s cover art. Anastasia Cass’s murky watercolours could be inspired by the prints from a tattered Grimm’s Fairytales tome, simultaneously evoking the beautiful, the uncanny, and the melancholic. The same can be said of Michael Hansford’s music, which he records under the pseudonym Molly Drag.

On first listen I was transported to my early teens, to my periodical devotion for The OC and Skins, which I postured ironically yet was obviously entirely sincere. I loved the delicious histrionics, the pertinent angst, and the moody, melodic music which underpinned it all; Eels, Stars, and especially Death Cab For Cutie. While my adolescence involved far more Hitchcock marathons than star-crossed first loves, these bands soundtracked my life in parallel, in hindsight lingering more lucidly than the plots and characters they helped paint. Whatever Reason drinks from the same plaintive, urgently felt reservoir as Ben Gibbard et al. This is the opposite of condescending Hansford; the music supervisors for these shows after all had a cracking taste in indie rock.

The low-fidelity production and quavering opacity of message are serene yet cloudy with tangled pining, wafts of sunlight peeking through an overcast skyscape, such that the headlining song title ‘Glass’ appears almost oxymoronic. The glass smashed long ago, and Whatever Reason is its dying echo. ‘Other Hunter’ encapsulates the precariousness, the sense that once “you feel the disconnect/ then the wolves will come”. What impels this? Hansford admits he had a lot to reflect on, citing the end of a 4 year relationship, moving city, and a chilling brush with mortality; but what’s cogently aroused is the passage of time, the incompatibility of memory and the present, of memory’s latent impairment.

Frugal toying with vocal distortion and foggy electric guitar further verify the hazy anxiety, though its perennial apprehension belies the density – and indeed harmony – of its compositions. ‘Marrow’ and ‘High Polar’ are sprawling histories grounded by deceptively simple chords and altruistic percussion, and ‘Tragic Trix’ promotes a swaying line that builds so movingly microscopic it’s almost neglected. ‘Nostalgia’ and ‘Sweety’ hit the hardest for me, elegiac appeals for the unutterable past.

These are deeply emotive lullabies, eminently listenable but equally utilitarian, bristling with germane insecurities and uncertainties that afford a kindly voice of solidarity.