Snowday
As We Travel


3.5
great

Review

by Tristan Jones STAFF
November 28th, 2014 | 72 replies


Release Date: 2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: When life is making you lonely you can always go downtown.

It’s refreshing to avoid responsibility, putting your routine on pause in favour of the little things, whatever that means for you specifically. For some, it’s extra time with your loved ones, while for others it’s the act of doing nothing, without consequence and so on. If you think back, you were probably ecstatic when school got cancelled due to snow (a ‘snow day’... ahem). It was extra time with no obligations. In a way, the debut release As We Travel from Toronto-based downtempo act Snowday is a record thriving not on what - or where - it needs to be, but the inimitable quality of contentment. You can’t always fake satisfaction, and Snowday are happy to wander as they please. Each track is celebratory, but casual, as no single idea is demanding enough to deter from the other possibilities around the corner. It’s like visiting a carnival with no lineups; you’re able to explore without itineraries, thriving on accumulative little experiences. This is just a way to explain how As We Travel manages to be diverse, relaxed, and effortlessly satisfying. It reminds me of afternoons where we - a loved one and I - didn’t even need to reflect, spending the entire car ride in silence as nothing needed to be said. In hindsight it’s sort of poignant, as it reminds me of something I haven’t felt since God knows when.

This ties into As We Travel significantly, as beneath the carefree vibe of downtempo exists a hint of longing. Depending on your perspective, you could view it as one big facade. As a habit, I tend to avoid speculation of ‘intent’, as it’s often the end result that should carry more weight than the underlying motivation. Still, it can cast things in a different light, and this kind of contradicts my theory of contentment, suggesting Snowday are seeking escapism through their music. What I’m trying to say is that As We Travel isn’t an album for a specific time or place. Whether you’re looking for music to complement your untroubled mornings, or be the soundtrack to your dissatisfaction, Snowday know how to engage you. Every track is rife with mellow beats and soothing textures, yet features a wide array of experimentation to captivate you however you see fit. They have a keen sense of awareness; none of the tracks overstay their welcome, and they easily fill empty spaces.

While many similar musicians tack on assorted synths and effects to the point of convolution, Snowday’s compositions are rich and detailed underneath, with each subtlety blended perfectly. “Alaskan Cabins” takes deep, reinvigorating breaths while hushed vocals sway with claptraps and lush instrumentals. “A Lone Stone” features somber piano alongside rolling woodblocks and drifting overtones. When the instruments subside, if only for a moment, the spaces between notes are just as lovely, creating a deft pull and release. Vocalists Kaleigh Watts and Sammy Jackson grace “A Quiet Winter” and “Regeneration” respectively, complementing As We Travel’s flow perfectly, breaking up the instrumental tracks aptly without being overbearing. Watts delivers a soothing, ethereal performance while Jackson is more commanding in what proves to be the album’s climax. Everything runs like clockwork, but more fluidly, like the softly melting pocket watches in the famous Dali painting. It’s surreal. As We Travel is a composition completely at peace, but never one-dimensional or sedated; aloof and dreamy, it still manages to be thoroughly engaging. It’s time well spent - doing nothing at all.



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user ratings (29)
3.7
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Jots
Staff Reviewer
November 28th 2014


7336 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

http://snowdaysnowday.bandcamp.com/album/as-we-travel



feedback appreciated



album is probably a 3.8ish/5 for me.

ExplosiveOranges
November 28th 2014


4408 Comments


Knew you were gonna review this.

Jots
Staff Reviewer
November 28th 2014


7336 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

couldn't not review it man

ExplosiveOranges
November 28th 2014


4408 Comments


Double negatives smh

Would I dig this?

Jots
Staff Reviewer
November 28th 2014


7336 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

If you like downtempo at all then yes

ExplosiveOranges
November 28th 2014


4408 Comments


at all

Sold. Will read over review later and give you feedback/criticisms/offers to casual sex.

Jots
Staff Reviewer
November 28th 2014


7336 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

-_-

Sauce
November 28th 2014


923 Comments


ooooh this pleases my ear holes, indeed.

PappyMason
November 28th 2014


5702 Comments


Nice. I've been meaning to check out the stream.

Hopelust
November 28th 2014


3561 Comments


I have no idea why, but I got the impression from the review that the vocals for this aren't the star of the show. Do they take a back seat to the instrumentalism, or is that assumption incorrect?

Jots
Staff Reviewer
November 28th 2014


7336 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah only a couple tracks feature vocals

Hopelust
November 28th 2014


3561 Comments


I think I'd like this. Especially given saskatchewan is getting about 15-25cm of snow in the next 24 hours.

Jots
Staff Reviewer
November 28th 2014


7336 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah Edmonton isn't looking so great either, I'll be jamming this pretty steady

Hopelust
November 28th 2014


3561 Comments


You live in edmonton? I was there for about five years earlier in life. Sherwood park, more so. Wish it was edmonton.

cryptside
November 28th 2014


2399 Comments


Super excited to check this out, all because of your review. I've just been pos-ing them and then reading them lately, my friend. Awesome job, this sounds up my alley. One thing:
"It’s like visiting a carnival with no lineups; you’re able to explore without itineraries, thriving on accumulative little experiences."
-Do you mean 'lines' instead of 'lineups'? Just a little confused by that.



Jots
Staff Reviewer
November 28th 2014


7336 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thx Sig. And I meant no 'lineups'. Idk if that's just a colloquialism or something but no one calls them 'lines' here.

cryptside
November 28th 2014


2399 Comments


Ah, I see. No worries then, my small American mind's mistake ;)

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
November 29th 2014


34957 Comments


Hey man, nice review :] Since you asked for some thoughts, here's some feedback:

"In a way, As We Travel, the debut release from Toronto-based downtempo act Snowday, is a record"

I'd rearrange the album name (As We Travel) and the 'debut release...' description to make it seem more direct. Otherwise, the intro is spot on and invokes a strong sense of atmosphere.

"This ties into As We Travel significantly, actually, as beneath the carefree vibe of downtempo exists a hint of longing."

Not convinced by the placement of 'actually'; it seems to break up what is otherwise a fluid sentence.

"while Jackson is more commanding in the album’s climax"

It took me a couple of moment to work out that you were referring to Regeneration by 'climax' - this sentence makes sense, but isn't very clear at first.

"It is a composition completely at peace, but never one-dimensional or sedated."

My idea of peace is maybe different to yours, but how can something reflect a 'hint of longing' if it portrays total contentment? I now feel that I should listen to find out, and amend my definitons :P

Also, less importantly:

"You can’t fake satisfaction" I personally disagree, but that's hardly integral to the review

"Everything runs like clockwork, but more fluidly, like the softly melting pocket watches in the famous painting." Cite Dali directly - this review is too strong for you to let such a vague reference mar it at the end.

Feel free to ignore any-/everything I've said; this is a solid piece of writing and made me want to hear the album :]

Digging: Xiu Xiu - OH NO

Jots
Staff Reviewer
November 29th 2014


7336 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great observations JdK, thx buddy. made some changes to sort it out. as for the longing/contentment thing, I sorta explain in my

second paragraph how it could be perceived as either depending on your headspace

TheSonomaDude
November 29th 2014


7365 Comments


I've never ventured into downtempo before.



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