Reviews:: Shh... This is a Library

It’s almost too easy to hear a CD full of gentle acoustic strums, static, white noise and programmed drum loops and let the songs drift you into a dream like state. It’s almost too easy, because for great artists creating this type of music, it’s the exact feeling you get with each listen. Shh… This is a Library – Brent's interesting moniker – is a collection of songs that drift in and out of your cerebellum like the cloudy haze of an early morning. Instantly, people will start thinking of artists like the Album Leaf and Kama Aina and the musical realm in which they exist.

After the pleasant, dreamlike sounds of i noticed that none of the clocks in your house are set (and the subtle lean to a world where time does not exist?) and is this a crush? drifted from my headphones, I wondered if the whole record would follow the same path. Instead, Brent puts his own signature on the record. The difference, as with most great art, is how the elements are combined. Brent uses the same brush strokes and same paints as other artists, but fills the canvas with a style distinctly his own. The most standout element is his vocals. Instead of hushed, muted vocals, Brent uses a style made popular by the 90’s Chicago / Jade Tree line-up. He channels singers like the Kinsella brothers (especially on how does it feel (good)?), but opts for smooth, flowing lines, not crunched guitars.

On Sunrise Highway the opening guitar plays like a Nick Drake riff; simple, weightless, and immediately enjoyable. But it’s his vocals, along with the feedback wash and distorted bass line that play over top of the riff that offer the uniquely stark contrast to the soothing sounds. The same can be said about the summery vocals of you smile like your hair isn't messy and the plucked banjo that intrudes the calming realm I settled into. Instead of an atmospheric, ethereal experience, the song transforms into a beautiful lo-fi, noise wash.

This record – of which only 50 are pressed, each with a hand-painted cover – is a surprisingly diverse, yet focused effort that I’ve been enjoying for the last few days. Well worth checking out while you still have the chance.

MP3:: sunrise highway
MP3:: I think I know what this might be

web site :: label


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