Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Loving ... "Resolven" by North Atlantic Drift
Beautiful. That was my first thought when I started listening to "Resolven" by North Atlantic Drift. The music on this release is, or at least could be, the soundtrack to my dreams ... not the awkward dreams but the idyllic dreams ... the personal Utopias where everything is just right.
From the field recording of a thunderstorm at the very start of "More or Less" to the closing moments of "Elegy" I was caught up in something so utterly beautiful that it took my breath away and made me, compelled me to press play once more.
"Resolven" sits at the more ambient end of post-rock. There aren’t any dynamic guitar-led crescendos here ... more synth-led soundscapes that deftly express the yearning inside each of us to be surrounded by beauty. These tracks encapsulate beauty ... and, in doing so, uplift and refresh me, as the listener, with their elegance and poise.
The main instruments used are synth and guitar ... with the odd glockenspiel and field-recording thrown in to thicken an already delicious sound-stew. Percussive elements are apparent but they are restrained ... held back to maintain the downtempo, relaxed ambience.
What I love most about this album is the way it hangs together as a complete album ... each track folding nicely into the next with periods of silence bringing them together rather than separating them. It really makes for an excellent listening experience.
Stand out tracks included "Obsidian Flows" with it's gentle, lilting movement. It is particularly strong when the melody is played with the glockenspiel. Oh how I love a melody played on a glock ... and this track demonstrates the care that Mike Abercrombie & Brad Deschamps put into their music. They are true craftsmen.
"It Looks Like You're Here For the End of the World" is another stand out track ... with it's skittering percussion and euphoric nature. The synths are so warm and comforting, and when the guitar joins the party the track just opens up like a flower that has felt the warmth of the sun. It is a truly exemplary moment.
I thoroughly enjoyed this album and would highly recommend it to anyone with a preference for ambient soundscapes or recognise a longing inside their hearts for something beautiful.