Review Summary: An explosion of colour.
The internet is a beautiful place.
That’s an absurdly obvious statement by this point, isn’t it? You can find a lot of wonderful sh*t in this ever expanding ocean of knowledge and material, to the point where it’s bizarre to even consider that a mere few decades ago this all never used to be. Want to seek out underground Swedish heavy metal? Google it. Fancy a look into classic J-Horror movies? Rodger Swan had you covered over a decade ago. To get to the point, these are specific examples of previous personal experience, and yet it’s always a pleasant surprise to stumble upon something you perhaps weren’t expecting. Patience
is one of those surprises.
Eight or so years ago, I happened upon an excellent compilation album of various ambient/post rock material titled Elements 01
. Consisting of over 30 tracks from various artists (ranging from the likes of Arafúra to Lowercase Noises), the album proved a surprisingly uplifting discovery. At a time that I was far more interested in literally anything incorporating guitar distortion, these
tracks were often beautiful compositions, sweetly embellished with glittering instrumentals and (on occasion) spoken word sections to further deepen the track’s emotional weight, and I was absolutely hooked
. It would be the soundtrack to my journeys, my downtime, my coursework. Everything. In short, although initially surprising, it was exactly the kind of album I would heavily revisit for a long, long
time, a feeling pleasantly familiar throughout the runtime of this particular Spieglass release.
Comfortably residing somewhere between the ambience of Brian Eno and post-rock tendencies of God Is an Astronaut, Patience
is self-described as the most “guitar-forward” Spieglass offering. Certainly this rings true, more dependent on atmospheric guitar textures than (for example) the ‘Languid Affinity’ of Long Lives for Bad People
, which leans more heavily into the style of Vincent Diamante’s Flower
. Instead, you’re far more likely to feel stirrings akin to ‘All Is Violent, All Is Bright’, or Lowercase Noises’ Migratory Patterns
, albeit mostly absent the percussive backbone. As a result, Patience
’s runtime treads the relatively familiar territory of better known peers, but to negative effect?
No. Absolutely not.
Familiar or otherwise, the soundscapes explored throughout Patience
feel wonderfully euphoric, lifting with swells of ambience that explode with colour, yet an undeniable weight of deep emotion is entirely present. Take ‘Nocturne Glow’, for example, a track mostly grounded in lingering guitar notes that gently fade into the distance and absent the piano embellishments of ‘Terminal Discipline’ or ‘No Ghosts’. It’s peaceful, patient composition that flourishes in relative simplicity, reminding of the same emotional undercurrents found within the likes of Colma
’s ‘Electric Tears’.
Indeed, and truth be told, the album’s greatest strength easily lays within its substantial ability to evoke emotion through melody: my own realisation of this was a late night half listening, half dozing while my partner slept alongside me. I had been appreciative of Patience
so far, enjoying the soothing pitter-patter of ‘Retinal Noise’s faraway keys like rain drops. It washes over in a sense of warmth, slipping into the back of my mind with ease and resting there comfortably as I lay gazing absentmindedly into the cotton of my partner’s t-shirt. The neatly interconnected strands of fabric shift in and out of focus as ripples of ‘Prophecy Theme’-esque notes drift by, even reminding me at times of Bruce Faulconer’s ‘Call Out The Dragon’, and ‘Retinal Noise’ puts Patience
’s best qualities on full display.
Now, as mentioned prior, I would be lying if I said Patience
was anything ground-breaking or new to the genres it inhabits, because the reality is... I’ve been here before. I’ve felt this
before. And that’s perfectly okay. Colma
. All Is Violent, All Is Bright
. Elements 01
. Those that feel akin to the few precious sweet seconds before exhaling after breathing in deeply, held in the chest just long enough to relax when emotions run high, and Patience
comfortably stands alongside others that exude a brilliant sense of elation. It would be extremely easy to overlook one ambient release amongst many others, given how similar these can be by nature, but the internet once again proves an invaluable resource in discovering surprises.
And, truthfully, an overwhelming amount of peace is to be found here.