Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Reviews:: The One AM Radio This Too Will Pass

Sometimes the blogosphere can be a truly great thing. Amongst the stacks of promos and posts, you can find an artist you’ve never heard and give them a listen. Rather than absorbing the hype, you can read a brief description of an artist and help the disc rise to the top of the pile. For me, that artist was The One AM Radio.

When I put the disc in, I can freely admit I had no idea what to expect. Everything I heard about him mentioned a split with Ted Leo, so naturally I assumed some mod punk vibe. Instead, his songs are emotions set by subtle layers and heart-felt words. The One AM Radio (aka Hrishikesh Hirway) creates a beautiful mix of organic folk (strings, horns) and atmospheric electronic elements. The music seems to blossom and come to life as you listen (the faint heartbeat pulse added to the album's closing track - Where I'm Headed - is perfect).

Unlike many of the more electro focused artists that can be described in this way (The Album Leaf for example), Hirway relies on instrumentation to set the mood as opposed to electronic back beats and textures and uses his drum machine to simply plug holes with deep echoing beats. Mixing hints of Elliott Smith and Nick Drake with layers of strings, this record plays like a perfectly produced cinematic, bedroom symphony.

Melancholy is an over used muse in music, but Hirway manages to mask his sadness with great imagery. You sense his pain, especially on tracks like Castaway (you ache when he sings, “I don’t love you anymore”), but I was swept up with the beauty of his words and how they fit with booming horns, lush strings or understated blips and washed out static. The last 1:45 of Castaway is a wash of strings, guitars and drums that are more morose than any words could ever be.

These types of records are usually classified as end of the night records, but I’ve found The One AM Radio fits perfectly into a crisp, winter morning. Pulling your scarf around your neck, walking with your hand tucked into your pockets, his voice and sounds begin to take life, just like the city itself. Cars pulling out onto empty streets; random strangers passing silently, walking with only their own thoughts. No sound interferes with the moment and unfolds perfectly as you walk, watching first light coming up over the city.

MP3:: In this Time We've Got
MP3:: Cast Away

Posted at 2:28 PM by ack :: 1 comments

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At 6:17 PM, Blogger Charles did sayeth:

Nice posts today. Keep up the great work.


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