If you’ve been following, counting, or simply reading the subject, this is the fourth entry in the Missed Gems Sound Bytes column, in which I [desperately] catch up to all the great music of last year that somehow washed out through the cracks. Thankfully Stationary Travels saves the day with hand-picked jewels that caught their ear. 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 buy! More installments to come!
Colours in the Dark
Time Released Sound
With Colours in the Dark Wilson Trouvé takes his Monochromie project down a more pastoral path with an album mastered by Wil Bolton centered almost completely around the piano with minimal amounts of additional sonic ornamentation. The tone is melancholic and nostalgic, with a dash of romanticism casting light gently on the grey, though he does add depth and atmosphere to the final three tracks where electronics are brought to the fore. I find the trio of songs in the central part of the album, “Whales“, “Old Times“, and “Łódź” to be especially lovely. This is another great addition to the beloved Time Released Sound, an independent label by Colin Herric which releases gorgeous, limited, and hand-made gems.
The Waning Branches
The Waning Branches is a unique concept EP which charts the growth and sudden decline of a single morus tree in Sanandaj, Iran through the mediums of cartography and sound. The sound aspect is comprised of just under 19 minutes of minimal ambient music with subtle elements of drone and field recordings woven into the mix. It is quite lovely, especially in the closing minutes as the tone becomes both ethereal and melancholic. The visual element is part of a very attractive environmentally friendly handmade physical CD package that can be ordered through the Wist Rec label featuring photographs, drawings, maps of the local region, and beet juice ink grown in the assembler’s garden.
Ancient Colours is the solo project of guitarist and songwriter Simon Allum and his debut album Relent is a warm and lovely record of guitar-based meditations. The influence of guitarists like Jansch and Fahey is evident on tracks such as “The Night Hangs Like A Jewel“, “A Message To This World From That Which Is To Come“, and “I Know You Are Never Coming Home“. Each one is hand-crafted with a sonic patina like burnished wood. And “Pose of a Saint” reminds me of the very best of July Skies – soaked in dreamy reverb and melancholy, it paints a picture in sound of dappled sunlight, golden fields, and autumn afternoons.
woodworkings is the neoclassical and ambient music of Kyle Woodworth and his latest album, titled day breaks the morning shapes we speak, mastered by Taylor Deupree for Own Records inhabits a lovely space somewhere between ambient and modern classical. It has the organic, woodsy warmth of acoustic guitar and strings tempered by the wintry coolness of ambient electronics and seamlessly blends the two into a gossamer web of melancholic introspection. “The new album is about distance and states — meaning both state of place and state of mind.” An understated gem of a record that should not be missed.
Words by Brian Housman of Stationary Travels