Hilary Woods builds on the airy mystery of 2021's genius 'Feral Hymns' with the crepuscular 'Acts of Light', featuring nine creeping dirges played with double bass, field recordings and sacred choral chants that sound like mournful, Celtic ghosts wailing into a moonlit woodland. Brilliant, gaseous material for anyone into Deathprod, Sarah Davachi, David Darling or Antonina Nowacka. That last album married Wood's surreptitious hooks with Lasse Marhaug’s petrified, doomcore production, a highly distinctive marriage of cursed atmospherics and memorable songs that still sounds like pretty much nothing else we’ve heard since. Her followup ‘Isolation Tank’ for our Documenting Sound series was essentially a screwed audio diary, creating rhythms out of the clicking whirr of her old polaroid camera, her voice drifting into abstraction. In other words, Woods is no stranger to getting deep into her process, and on 'Acts of Light' she increases the contrast, bringing out cracks of colour to contrast her Vantablack striations. Voices are blurred against microscopic sounds on 'Wife Mother Lover Cow', as euphoric pads swelter into mist; like spying a midnight ritual from a safe vantage point, watching forest nymphs dance to the beat of their own drum. Ghostly, choral vapours gather on 'Where the Bough has Broken', recorded with the Palestrina Choir at Dublin's Procathedral, and with Galway City Chamber Choir in Galway, crashing into environmental recordings Woods gathered during travels across Spain. The title track plays pitched vocals against low, nauseating murmurs, while strings provide an ominous sustained drone. Voices chatter in the distance, and a rhythmic thud sounds like a march to the afterlife. Woods strips things back further on 'Awakening', giving us a short break from the crippling gloom with angelic chorals and gauzy cello, before the disorienting heartbeat 'Blood Orange' transports us into another lysergic reality. 'The Foot of Love' is the album's most emotionally resonant moment, all poetic curls of ornate instrumentation and fogged-out dark ambience that wouldn't sound out of place on an Akira Rabelais album, leading masterfully into Woods' brief, subtle denouement, the aptly-titled 'Vigil', freezing phantasmagoric vocals in a sodden mess of cello and captured rainfall. It's the ideal finale to an album that escorts us through a magickal, dusky wilderness that's never oppressive, always tender in its own way. Music that’s as creakingly baroque as it is verdant and folksy. Acts of Light is a fugue comprised of nine slow hypnotic dirges. Vulnerability, majesty, and candour elicited with drone, double bass, cello, synth, viola, field recordings, electronics, noise, vocals, processing and sacred choral chant compose its private ritual. Following excavations and explorations in intuition and physicality through sound which culminated in her 2021 EP Feral Hymns, Acts of Light is a disquiet personal offering to wilderness, loss, absence, mystery and love supreme. Awakening hidden forms that emerge from the shadows with each listen, its rich and weighted lament is subterranean and chasmal whilst simultaneously detailed and tender. Textural dust and speckled light move slowly and expansively here through a deeply sonic and sensory rite of passage where Woods’ moving compositions confide in us feeling to be received with the entire body. Written, recorded, mixed and produced over a span of two years along the west coast of Ireland and Dublin, Woods recorded the voices of Galway City Chamber Choir, before recording the choristers of the Palestrina Choir in the Pro Cathedral Dublin. Strings were recorded by Jo Berger Myhre in Oslo, whilst field recordings were recorded nomadically throughout her time spent traveling through the north west of Spain.