Review Summary: The best things in this world are so often passed over, especially when they can appear so overwhelming as Landings.
When is it that sounds alone can be cited as an experience? For many, the answer to that question is when the music is aligned completely with your own emotion state, when you're molded with it to the point at which it's moved you enough to become part of your personality. Like the first time you were rewarded with a kiss, or like the death of a beloved friend. In short, it connects; completely. I would agree, except there's just one thing I would adapt. Music that constitutes as an experience doesn't necessarily have to enter your world, it can invite you into its own as well. This is where we find ourselves with Landings
, it's a doorway into a world that isn't your own, one so palpable that it's easily possible to picture yourself there: lying face-up towards the trees, hand clasping the earth beneath you.
At first, it seems impossible to credit Landings
with such emotional power. It's a mess: strings and screeches drift in with no obvious effect or direction and there doesn't seem to be much in the way of a coherent structure, even for ambient music. The second listen didn't seem to help much, nor did the third... but then you catch a glance at the album cover and it clicks. You're alone in the forest, towering trees pressing towards you, engulfing you in shadow. What before sounded like a chance array of creaks and acoustics now lays itself out before you; it becomes clear what is creating the atmosphere and what provides the focus. Amongst this, there seems to be a delicate string of sorrow, one that never draws too much attention to itself. In a setting such as this, emotion becomes all the more relatable: it moves you more than you could hope to expect.
momentarily takes breaks from this intense, claustrophobic atmosphere when it indulges in some more archetypal drone ambient. It feels like escaping into a sunny clearing, and before long you are helplessly swept away with it. Returning to the more convoluted air of the LP brings a new feeling of freshness: you are encouraged to look at things from different angles - and indeed have to if you want to explore everything this has to offer.
Sinking into Landings
may just be one of the best musical experiences you will ever encounter: if not because it maintains such a strong sense of place. It was recorded over the stretch of 4 years in rural Northern England, and manages to encompass the wonder and beauty that can be found there perfectly. From the outlook it's hostile and quite sad, but it remains, at all times, incredibly moving.