Earlier this year I wrote about how integral ambient is to the fabric of music. In particular, I referenced two wonderful albums, Alessandro Cortini’s Avanti and Úlfur’s Arborescence, both which revealed distinct dimensions that this music can exist within. But what made a deeper impact was M. Grig’s soothing folk-inspired Still Lifes EP.
I am convinced that the score of my mind and the soundtrack to my inner thoughts sounds like this record. It incorporates acoustic instrumentation at sporadic but deliberate rhythms, feeling at times both weary and tranquil. A steel guitar creates electricity on several of the tracks which make my heart flutter, as if experiencing the sudden shock and lasting intoxication of love. There is something so romantic and human about a steel guitar, especially played so carefully. Bookending the album are pre- and postludes that feature hiccuping synths, as if telling us about the heroic life of our steel guitar entirely in a flashback. What a beautiful life it had.
However you interpret the ambience on this release, give it significance. We may crave the structure of pop music, but sometimes we need something unexpected to give us new perspective. The calm of Still Lifes can energize your mind, but even if it ends up lulling you to sleep, you’d be sure to have peaceful dreams.