Seven Rivers of Fire - Hail Star of the Sea!
Released: January 12
There's an oddly spiritual theme which permeates this entire album that can't really be attributed to any one aspect of it's composition. Rather, the various elements used to create each composition coalesce around one another to create something that feels equal parts folksy and atmospheric. Opening up with "Look to the Star," the album sets the tone that field recordings and found sounds will define the runtime only to have this expectation completely subverted as the noises fade away and are replaced by an alternatively plucked and strummed guitar at a moderately fast pace. This quickly becomes the running theme of the album as the guitar plays off of a litany of sounds including untuned violins, harmoniums, bells, bowls, and all types of unusual field recordings.
What really gives this album its character though is not just the instruments used but the manner in which they were recorded. It seems that virtually all of the recording was done on a single cellphone. When I read that, I was skeptical as I had already been listening for about twenty minutes and couldn't believe it was true. However, listening closely, I could hear a lo-fi quality to the tracks but didn't find it distracting whatsoever. Instead, it seems to suit the material perfectly, giving it the atmosphere of something like a soundtrack to a pilgrimage.