Review Summary: Where did these bugs come from?Together Is The New Alone
has to be up there in the top list of misleading album covers. Displaying a picture of a man, presumably Mr. Costello, sitting down with a guitar right beside him, one might think that this man has made a folk album. Think again
. Donnacha Costello is an ambient/glitch producer that has made an album that is probably one of the most micro-sounding albums ever made and perhaps of all time.
Released in 2001,Together Is The New Alone
is an interesting and also very rewarding album. Abandoning the (somewhat boring) minimal techno sounds of his previous album Growing Up In Public
, Donnacha Costello has made an album full of songs that are extremely minimal and they seem to be very limited in the amount of sounds displayed.
The first song on this album, Slowly Sinking In, reinforces this claim, by showing off poppy and clicky micro beats and portraying a very empty and small environment. Try to imagine watching a documentary on caterpillars or other small insects and listening to this album; it is almost too perfect of a comparison. The rest of the album follows this basic formula with songs like Awake on the Fifth Floor, Your New God, and And I Got Left Behind etc. showcasing a very emotional, relaxed and warm sound. The song Daydream Belief is a song that you really have to turn the volume up for because there is almost virtually nothing happening in the song except for an extremely quiet amount of beats. Hypnotic waves come in peace on the song In Spite of Everything giving it a warm, but eerie vibe. Emotional and also very woodland-like sounds can be heard on the sparse and desolate tracks Nothing Still Nothing and Dry Retch as these two songs are the only two to not feature any beats. Always a Part is a bit of an outlier track as it does not feature the quiet micro-beats of its predecessors, but instead features loud and bassy beats around hollow synths.
If one were to give this a little time, it would hopefully turn out to be a very rewarding listen. The music sounds way ahead of its time with most of these songs sounding as if they were written 100 years from now. It is a fairly overlooked album in the electronic world, like a lot of glitch/ambient artists out there. There aren’t many albums that have this particularly extremely quiet and solemn approach to it, so it makes it a bit unique. The synths on this album sound otherworldly – almost reminiscent of early Brian Eno - and the beats are extremely quiet as if bugs were crawling across a microphone. Overall, Donnacha Costello has made a very interesting, loungey and smooth release that has a very emotional and natural sound to it, but also a very futuristic feel. Just sit back and enjoy the calming glow that Together Is The New Alone
has to offer.