Review Summary: instant gratification
I've always had a thing for albums with universal descriptors, albums that everyone gets the same vibe from. Everyone listens to Loveless and goes "oh man sweet jimmies this is ethereal, lush, dissonant", whatever y'know" It gives me something to grasp onto, gives me an idea of the aesthetic of the thing. It helps that it probably makes the album an evocative listen if everyone essentially gets the same things out of it. This album here isn't quite as universal obviously solely due to lack of exposure and popularity. This would have descriptors out the wazoo if it had the same status as Loveless or what have you. I'll throw a couple out there just for the sake my love for this album which has manifested in under an hour. It's breezy, lush, nostalgic, warm, insular, happy, nostalgic, simple. I could keep going but you get the idea.
The album follows the format of your typical Natural Snow Buildings album, so essentially LOTS of folksy diddling with interwoven ambiance + electronic elements and a sprinkle of vocal tracks. It lacks the monolithic drone pieces, along with the sparser, more serious atmosphere. This is NSB if they turned into fairies and chilled on Calypso's island in an eternal summer. Everything about this album screams innocence, joy, and warmth; every string picked and chord strummed sounds like a step closer to heaven on some celestial stairway. Tambourines and synths are utilized, but tastefully and subtly.
On Rateyourmusic, the album is listed with the primary genre being ambient, and avant-folk as a secondary genre, more of an afterthought. At first I thought this was ridiculous due to how prominent the folk instruments were over the electronics, but that's the genius of it. The ambiance plays an essential and intimate role in the music. For the most part it's a canvas, but it's just as beautiful as the traditional instruments painting it. It's childlike in its wonder and its exploration. It ranges from dancey and synth laden (per the opening track) to subtle and driven in it's purpose to keep a foundation for the guitar. Yet even at it's most basic it's evocative and joyful.
As I type this, my second listen of this album has begun. At first I thought acknowledging the brevity of my time with this album would make me rethink the acclaim I've given to it, both publicly and within my own head. Yet all that's on my mind is the happiness within my heart and my soul. God bless this album.