Initially released in 2011 by Weird Forest Records, Glacial Glow found guitarist/filmmaker Sarah Lipstate moving her solo project Noveller away from the sprawling noise epics of earlier albums like 2009's Red Rainbows and refining the warm, soothing drones of 2010's Desert Fires. Aided by several looping pedals and effects, Glacial Glow's guitar compositions were far more structured, concise, and musical than previous Noveller recordings, with clearly played notes and serene atmospheres rather than tense clouds of feedback or washes of ambient sound. "Glacial Wave" is one of Lipstate's most gorgeous, affecting pieces, with gently rippling notes flowing at an unhurried pace along with a calmly nostalgic undercurrent. "Blue" might be the album's most unsettling moment, with a constantly bonking bass pulse and a few bursts of controlled feedback, but it seems a bit more playful than menacing overall. The desert-like "Alone Star" recalls the classic rock-influenced drones of Earth, with sunbaked melodies bathed in an ethereal aura. "Waxwing" begins with an introduction of distant, abstract bowing before introducing a chiming guitar loop that alternates between rapid and moderate pitches. The album appropriately concludes with "Ends," another blissful piece that dies down to calm feedback approximating ocean waves. Subsequent Noveller albums would find Lipstate expanding her sound with more electronic elements and cinematic inclinations, but Glacial Glow remains a lovely, engrossing listening experience, and one of the high points of her discography.
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AllMusic Review by Paul Simpson