“In our never-ending quest to find the best new music, we often stumble upon a veteran artist who somehow escaped our notice. Such is the case with Canadian musician Lee Nicholson – a.k.a. Test Card. Fortunately for us, his 2016 album Start Up Close Down is being re-released on Hidden Shoal, so others can now discover this hidden gem. The album’s opening track is such a stunning piece that it requires multiple listens before you can properly take in its myriad textures.

If you’re not a fan of ambient/lo-fi, then “Marble Index” might change that. When you imagine this song as a blank canvas, each passing minute finds Nicholson painting greater depth with each brush stroke. This evocative piece calls to mind early-’00s era Peter Gabriel. (It makes a perfect companion piece to “Sky Blue.”) As the song progresses, you become entranced by the vivid tones that flood you with feelings of calm. Music fans with synesthesia may envision hues ranging from jade green to deep indigo – colors so rich you want to dive into them. This song (like the rest of the album) is pure artistry.”

The Revue|