So Sorry So Slow is the “proper” follow-up to Adult Jazz’s 2014 debut, Gist Is (after the 2016 mini-album, Earrings Off!). The time and effort put into this album is clear enough, but there’s a sense that perhaps a little less tinkering may have been advised as the final result can sometimes come off as overstuffed to the point of opacity.

Singer Harry Burgess’ voice continues to have a marmitey quality, though it’s well-suited to the earnest declarations and yearning self-exploration that the album is dripping in. So Sorry explicitly deals with reflections of ecological regret, occasionally framed in personal terms, relationships, breakdowns etc. that blossom (ehem) into wider concerns of ecocide. The entitlement of human centrality is obviously pivotal in the destruction of the environment, but how can we extricate ourselves from the churning mess without forgoing everything we’ve been programmed to enjoy?

These contradictions loom large throughout So Sorry, even manifesting in the way songs switch between wordy exposition (Marquee, Suffer One, Earth of Worms) and evoking moods through intricate arrangements (y-rod, Dusk Song). Excellent single, Suffer One features expectedly brilliant strings from Owen Pallett but, along with the autotuned vocals, it’s like hyperpop has gone to the opera. Maybe that’s the best contemporary approximation of what Arthur Russell (a frequent comparison made ten years ago) would’ve be into these days had he not sadly passed.

Elsewhere they remind of Guillemots in their piano-led art rock (Plenary), of Owen Pallett’s solo work in the theatrical delivery and dramatic strings (Marquee), and particularly of forgotten scenesters Anathallo in the musical twists and turns, as well as the ecological bent of their work. Though the abrasion of Earrings Off! is dialled back on So Sorry there are plenty of curious touches, like the orchestral foghorn effect and clipped horns of Dusk Song, the eerie plucked notes of Bend, the percussive ruminations of Earth of Worms.

Ultimately, this is an album that requires time to digest in full given the wealth of small details and affectations, both thematically and musically. But whether most will have the patience to do so is debatable, especially when the style is not always conducive to repeat listens. The ostentatious arrangements, Burgess’ unique vocals and the austere lyricism will be off-putting to some, but there are riches there for those inclined to look for them.