Former Exit Calm guitarist and Mark Lanegan Gargoyle collaborator Rob Marshall shines brightly on majestic yet harrowing track
Cai Trefor
12:30 12th June 2019

It’s not yet clear how many years in the making former Exit Calm guitarist Rob Marshall's solo project Humanist is. But at Gigwise, we've been eagerly awaiting its birth since 2017 when Mark Lanegan told us he'd been recording for the debut album.

We also learned from Rob Marshall in the same interview that Jim Jones from The Jim Jones Revue, Mark Gardner from Ride, and Joe Cadbury (UNKLE collaborator) made contributions to the project. Such a stellar list of guests can’t help but ignite our lusty appetite to hear it in full.

And after a period of radio silence we’re finally seeing the launch of Humanist, with the details gently shared.

Notes on the Youtube video for the first single read that Depeche Mode’s Dave Gahan, John Robb, Ron Sexsmith, and Joel Cadbury are among the new to us contributors. No full album credits, track list, or release date as yet, though. 

But before hearing the debut Humanist album in full, we can bask in the glory of the first single to be released from the record. Titled ‘Ring Of Truth’, it features Portishead and David Holmes collaborator Carl Hancock Rux as the most prominent voice on this mid-tempo atmospheric multi-layered track; a track with a bit of a trip hop and an ethereal post rock feel mixing with Marshall’s shoegaze DNA. The song sounds like it's been approached like an electronic producer would, but with tracks largely added on from original live studio sessions to give it a unique, arresting widescreen sound. 

Of the lyrical content, Rux, who wrote and sings the verses on top of music all arranged and produced by Marshall says: “'Ring of Truth' is a languid ballad rooted in a theory of consciousness, where space and time are conceived and imposed on the noumenal world - being the conditions for experience. Essentially, it is the darkest room of a dream state and a plea to be emancipated from that state ("spread open to me") as images of a conventional world clash against inoperable feelings of love and desire’’.

And Marshall speaks of what the song means to him:

"I think for this song, I wanted to suggest how we all suffer from a deep burden of global issues, which run in contrast with our often relatively small problems, and more and more we’re trying to maintain equilibrium while dealing with very dark and horrifying news around us, polarised by increasingly rare moments of euphoria in our own lives. Carl offered beautiful, dark and poetic lyrics for the verses, which totally elevated it.”

More Humanist news to follow on Gigwise shortly.

Photo: Press