Over the better half of a decade,Time is Away, the London-based duo ofJack RolloandElaine Tierney, have made tender and heartfelt transmissions through countless mixes, sound works, and radio. Exploring deeply human themes of memory, persistence, and resistance using an assemblage of source material, the duo's unique mode of storytelling culminates inBallads, a new suite of songs and, significantly, their first officially licensed compilation. From the opening notes ofHorvitz Morris Previte Trio's jazz romanticism toGilles ChabenatandFrédéric Paris's lively reimagined standard, the haunting vocal seance ofTanto Pressantoand the mesmerizing swirls ofThe Unthanks,Yuko Kono, andRachel Bonch-Bruevich, the spirit ofBalladsroams through generations of affectionate songwriting and conjures images both candid and surreal. The voice of poet and longtime collaboratorChristina Petrieappears briefly and contemplates the "sighs and replies... the space between verses" of the ballad, its beauty, its place in our lives. What is the ballad but a reflection of our soul? "Perhaps I'll wander in search of it", she bittersweetly concedes. At the suite's cusp is an alternate version ofDavid Lang's "Just (After Song of Songs)", a thirteen-minute meditation on devotion which featured inPaolo Sorrentino'sYouth(2015). The track's universal themes of faith and desire radiate throughout and elucidate Time is Away's peerlessly precise yet gossamer touch. Also featuresChristmas Decorations,Antonietta Borgoli,Merula,Stella Vander, andHydroplane.