Sounds Bytes : Missed Gems Part Five : Lights & Motion, North Atlantic Drift, The Echelon Effect and U137
Yes, that’s right, we’re still going strong with our Missed Gems series for our Sound Bytes column, in which Brian Housman of Stationary Travels catches us up on all the music that escaped our hungry ears. For this entry we’re especially focusing on releases in the post-rock genre. Don’t forget to click on the image which will take you on to the album’s page on bandcamp where you can preview the entire album and hopefully will click the “Buy Now” link – most of them are sold at “Name Your Price” option! We hope that you’ll enjoy!
Lights & Motion
Lights & Motion is a one-man project from musical phenom Christoffer Franzen, whose work is cinematic in every possible sense. Reanimation is the culmination of vision developed over many long nights in the isolation at studio in Gothenburg, Sweden along with the feedback of a close-knit group of friends and followers who Franzen kept engaged through social media. The music is as amazing and inspiring as the story behind its making. Shimmering tones, gorgeous melodies, and wide screen crescendos make this as breathtaking a debut as you are likely to find in any genre. And this is no flash in the pan. Franzen has already released an excellent follow-up called Save Your Heart as well as a collection of excellent film-score like sketches that hint that we could see his name rolling through the credits of a major film in the not to distant future.
North Atlantic Drift
North Atlantic Drift is the duo of Mike Abercrombie and Brad Deschamps based in Toronto, Canada and Resolven is already their third full length release, part of a trilogy of records that includes Canvas (Polar Seas, 2012) and Monuments (Sound in Silence, 2013). One of the track titles on this album, ‘Obsidian Flows’ is a perfect metaphor for the band’s music, as it conjures an image of both fluidity and opaque, glassy smoothness. This is post rock slowed down to a glacial ambient pace. All of their albums are highly recommended, but this one, mastered by none other than Rafael Anton Irisarri, is an especially lustrous, slow motion beauty. If you end up loving Resolven, be sure to also check out Abercrombie’s other solo project, Transits Of Mercury, for which he has already released a few ambient pieces on the group’s very own, Toronto-based Polar Seas label.
The Echelon Effect
With Atlantic, David Walters has delivered the first installment of a dual ocean-themed album, with the second half, Pacific due out in 2014. The approach of splitting the two albums looks to be a smart one, as Atlantic is a very complete and balanced full-length effort which stands beautifully on its own, but also builds anticipation for what will follow. Referencing locations on the southern coast of England as well as the sounds, images and emotions associated with traveling the sea, the album feels more expansive and cohesive than anything he has done before. And the music is enhanced by outstanding percussion work by drummer Steve Tanton and the appearance of guest musicians such as Ciaran Morahan of Codes in the Clouds and Torsten Kinsella of God is an Astronaut.
Dreamer on the Run
U137′s Dreamer on the Run is a debut record that does not sound like one. That can be explained by the fact that the band is comprised of two members of veteran post rock outfit Moonlit Sailor. The direction charted for U137 by Adam Tornblad and Oscar Gulbrandsen is a much brighter and more colorful one than the album cover suggests. This is post rock of the ambient and cinematic varieties with a dash of pop sensibility tossed in for good measure. The duo clearly wanted to make the most beautiful sounds they could muster and are happy to wear their passions on their musical sleeves. A standout track here is ‘Pearl Lakes’ which, even as an instrumental, could easily play to an arena of rabid Coldplay fans with no apologies. A very fresh and enjoyable record.
Words by Brian Housman of Stationary Travels
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