Review Summary: “What more can a window say?” ~ A Lullaby Hum For Tired Streets is a window into a small town. However, having tested it out on a late-night walk through my busy suburbs, it seems to work marvelously well here too.Emphemetry
is Richard Berkin, a member of the post-hardcore band Crash of Rhinos
. I was naturally a bit surprised at first listen. Needless to say, it is nothing like Crash of Rhinos. It is a mix of ambient, folk and post-rock that comes across as bittersweet and contemplative. While I say mix, it is not quite an even mix and is mostly ambient folk, with occasional soft post-rock flourishes.
After the instrumental opener that begins the album quite well comes “Four Million Silhouettes,” perhaps my favorite song on the album. It is mostly Berkin’s soft voice singing a folksy, somewhat sad melody accompanied by an acoustic guitar. The lyrics of the song are about looking through windows and seeing silhouettes of people, and are very well written. It is a very simple song, and communicates the overall emotion of the album quite well.
One of the most diverse songs on the album is "Francis Thompson," the longest track, consisting of a simple picked guitar and Berkin's sad vocals, with drums coming in within a few minutes and increasing the tempo and volume. The song then builds for a while, with a piano playing a rhythmic melody. The song then returns to the picking guitar and eventually fades out into ambience.
One other stand-out track is “So Long, Magic Helper.” It starts out with a picked guitar, and once again a sad folksy tune sung by Berkin. Afterwards comes “Houses, Empty as Holes,” a short acappella song incorporating beautiful harmonies. Finally, after “Emilelodie,” a piano tune that fades out into ambient electronics, comes “Isaac’s Dream Of Tired Streets,” a perfect closing song. The lyrics speak about walking home in the night, and how every little thing you notice seems to have meaning.
has created a beautiful first album that deserves a listen by fans of ambient folk. The constant motif about walking at night rings a chord with me especially, because that is one of my favorite things to do when I have nothing to do. Perhaps you’ll try it out sometime. If you do, this album is a great companion.