Review Summary: Great for hangovers and headaches, shh.. this is a library's dreamy self titled is a wonderful and effective anaesthetic for a night out.
I despise people who don’t get hangovers. They are Satan’s children, free to roam and be obnoxiously joyous after a night out where they can’t remember how they ended up needing root canal surgery* and whether that girl they fondled was a stunning supermodel with luxuriously long legs or just a testosterone-enduced super-giant*. Yes, I’ll admit, I am a jealous man when it comes to these pixies of piss-ups. And obviously, yes, that is because I do get regular visits from the Grim Reaper’s ugly cousin, Little Miss Hangover, that cruel heathen. Right now, I’m writing with her beside me, punching me in the head, imitating me throwing up last night, and breathing bluntly in my face, her breath smelling of spit and cider.
Thank God that people like Brent are here. His beautifully buoyant solo-creation ‘shh… this is a library’ is the knight in shining armour that will pry you from the clutching talons of the genetically super-charged headache-dragon known as the hangover, and carry you for miles and miles, through haunted forests and over raging oceans, up towering mountains and beneath treacherous skies, through an unusually diverse landscape, flowing with beauty and serenity, until your far away enough for the queen of the consequence to never find you again. Until next time.
Spanning eight tracks of unburdened, weightless acoustic wonder, and background noise in forms of static, wind, chatter, and various other dreamlike ambient sounds, this self titled floats subtly from track to track with the elegance of The Album Leaf, yet still keeps a delightfully unique and personal charm locked within the record. Difficult to pin point, the album falls into genres like a feather caught in an updraft, gracefully dancing between folk, ambience and acoustic indie. After the soothing signature sounds of the acoustics are played in “I Noticed…” and shown off further in “Is This A Crush?” with the addition of a simple drum loop and some drifting atmospherics, already there is a slight lean towards a stripped down, yet less raw American Football. The first vocal track “Sunrise Highway” is more of an annoyance than any other song with a promising intro spoiled by the increasingly harsh production, killing the relaxed mood. Luckily the next song, “I Think I Know…”, continues where the dreamy “Crush” left off, slipping in and out of consciousness with its discreet inflection and never feeling more than half-awake. The cure for the hangover really shines in this song, and the way it washes unnoticed into “You Smile…”, a cheerful track, using another drum loop and, this time, well used atmospheric ambience accompanied by a plucked banjo.
A large part of the record's humble charm is reeling up inside Brent’s throat. His distinctive voice places the vocal songs on the album upon a mountain of unreachable heights, just below the heavens, where heads are cleared, minds are undressed and thoughts are exposed to the biting winter air. The unremarkable but pretty lyrics serve well as distractions from the minus degrees. After the heart-warming “How Does It Feel (Good)?” and the more mainstream sound of “BFF”, the album finishes with the instantly enjoyable “Racoon Eyes”. The closer begins with an improvised fiddle of the guitar strings, followed by a verse knit with a new delicate guitar melody, then tied up with a wonderfully nostalgic chorus, possessing lyrics that make the lips curl and the heart flutter. This then gives way to a host of intriguing noises, causing you to be finally swallowed whole by the sea of tranquillity that has gently washed through the whole of the album, and forcing the relinquishment of any responsibility you might of had. And then just relax.
The sleepy sounds of this record, coupled with Brent’s inimitable magic make it to be one of my favourite easy listening albums of this year. The seamless gentle splendours that make up this wonderfully diverse palette caress the drunken wounds of the night before, like a light summer rain on a baking hot day. Unfortunately, only 75 records were made, each hand-painted differently, further showcasing visually the special flair this man possesses, meaning it is unlikely you will be able to find it in physical form unless borrowed off a generous friend. But if you can hear it, you will not regret the trouble it took you to listen to the lovely sounds produced on this album, ones that are likely to slay any heathen hangover that comes your way. So yes, go out and get wrecked already.
*Both incidents revolve around a lamppost.