LOSCIL Where man meets nature.

YES, THE LATEST ALBUM from Vancouver-based electro/ambient artist Loscil is called Sea Island. And yes, it contains a song called "Sea Island Murders." But the album has nothing to do with the brutal deaths of an oil industry executive and his wife that rocked a quiet Georgia resort town and made national news in 1983.

In fact, Scott Morgan—the man behind Loscil—was not aware of those events until after Sea Island was released last fall. There is a story behind Sea Island—a fictional murder, rising sea levels—but the truth is, it's heavily influenced by a section of Morgan's hometown of Vancouver, and it's mostly "a jumping point for an active imagination," anyway.

"I deal a lot in the abstract and the poetic interpretation of things," Morgan says. "The words that make up the titles end up being very expressionist and evocative and hold a nice amount of mystery for me.

"All this talking about it probably completely destroys that," he adds.

So forget the stories and focus on the sound. Sea Island is the latest masterwork from Morgan, who for the past decade and a half has been conjuring up hypnotically beautiful ambient music, minimalist electronica, and burbling drones. He is a contemporary of artists like Nils Frahm and A Winged Victory for the Sullen, but his music feels less celestial and more grounded, with a tireless interest in the darker corners of this particular sonic neighborhood.

"I don't appreciate overly pretty things all that much," Morgan says. "I tend to enjoy a little tarnish or imperfection."

Indeed, Sea Island is not overly pretty, but it is endlessly alluring. Morgan is a skilled sound technician, able to sculpt scattered clouds of blips, beats, and hiss into songs that not only set a mood and gather momentum, but also tell a story through the rise and fall of tempos and tones. So when Morgan says his music is designed to reflect places where nature and industry clash, it makes perfect sense.

"Nature is so amazingly beautiful and complex, yet we humans are so messed up," he says. "Given the ability to see these things side by side fascinates me. What comes out of me musically is an attempt to imitate the beautiful aspects of nature somehow corrupted in an equally beautiful way by human beings."