Review Summary: Hammock creates a soundtrack to the moments before your memories and your thoughts enter sleep
In August 2007, the duo of Hammock was asked to take a risk that would ultimately change the direction of their musical identities. Invited to play their first live gig ever at an art show attended by Sigur Ros’ Jon Thor Birgisson and other hefty stalwarts, an obvious influence on the ambient duo. Drastically, Hammock was faced with attempting to recreate the soundscapes of their recorded material into a grand display of live grandeur worthy of the acclaim they received ever since the debut of 2005’s Kenotic
. The challenged faced with, it seems, was to make a decision between the proposition of coalescing and cramming as many effects as they could into this unveiling of sonic grandeur or to fully realize the beauty behind their music; the result being the simplicity and repose of a guitar and effect pedals. Thankfully - For the crowd and for Hammock’s direction in sound – Hammock chose the latter and the results fruitfully flowered into a still and marveling piece of music, an album whose only flaw is its lack of malleability.
With these new mannerisms and a new found vision to guide them, Maybe They Will Sing for Us Tomorrow
is the recorded result of that change in direction, a direct step in progression to the live performance. The minimalistic approach taken to tackle this new form of vision has never yielded such grand and colossal sonic results, as the accompaniment of a cello and Hammock’s guitars are enough to round out Maybe They Will Sing for Us Tomorrow’s
musical palette. In its utter simplicity, a smorgasbord of emotions are subtly scattered across the wall of sheen and waves of melodies that undercurrent the simple musical framework. For this, Maybe They Will Sing for Us Tomorrow
is a mature step forward for the ever changing identity of Hammock and is its defining and distinctively breathtaking quality. Even as “Gold Star Mothers” unfolds itself into your ears, the calm after a storm is gently patterned into the listener’s mind and a feeling of repose overwhelms the listener, but still a sense of familiarity can be heard and it’s obvious that Hammock hasn’t set out to reinvent the wheel, it’s only making the duo’s intentions known. The gentle poetic honesty that can be heard in Maybe They Will Sing for Us Tomorrow
is easily its most appealing quality; providing an audible solace for any walk of life without any words to meddle the meaning. It is the record’s angelic optimism that sweeps under the listener that makes Maybe They Will Sing for Us Tomorrow
more than worthwhile to listeners familiar to the contemplative arrangements of more known and accomplished ambient composers. The sadness and melancholia of disappointment circulates over “This Kind of Life Keeps Breaking Your Heart”, only to project a beacon of hope.
The emotional nakedness of Maybe They Will Sing for Us Tomorrow
is equally as compelling as the accompanying optimism that is underneath the record. Hammock lets it known that they aren’t afraid to express what it is that has created who they are today. A duo which has shed any emotional reserve and is unafraid to express the frailty that has deadened them, unafraid to express whatever form of joy, pain, hopefulness or whichever inspired these emotions to unravel themselves. With this, Hammock spills themselves onto the floor and it’s the listener’s choice to choose an emotion from the gamut left in the wake. Another malingering quality to Maybe they will…
is the linearity of the record. After one song takes a trip through a sentiment, it may end off with an entirely different atmosphere and the next song will carry it like a wave. However, it must be noted that this is also Maybe They Will Sing for Us Tomorrow’s
biggest weakness; it’s lack of variation and malleability. Only the stunning “Mono No Aware” and the ominous and brooding “Elm” stand distinctively as highlights primarily due to their distinctive qualities and variation in tempo. This is a disappointing flaw, when taken into account that the record may have been even more compelling if it was able to encompass a larger variety of moods and variations.
So, with the yearning vocals and the Boards of Canada mannerisms of their previous work cast off to the sea, what remains is simple and unadorned. Hammock is fortunate enough to create enough magic throughout this meaty set, and Maybe They Will…
is a still beauty. In hindsight, the little decisions made to alter their identity are the ones that are easily worth the avail of taking the risk, and for that the flaws of Maybe They will… do not dampen the optimism and natural triumph escaping the speakers. With the sparkling reverberation of “Mono No Aware” acting as a defining centerpiece, Hammock creates a soundtrack to the moments before your memories and your thoughts enter sleep, and stay there in bliss. And with an album without a single word, it’s safe to assume that they will indeed sing for Hammock tomorrow; a wordless hymn for a tomorrow not yet revealed.