Birmingham Music Library - VHS Childhood
Released: July 7
Filled with warbling textures, downplayed lo-fi percussion, and buckets of nostalgia dumped on top, VHS Childhood occupies a delicate space between vaporwave and ambient music that incorporates the best elements of both. The use of vocal samples from classic movies of the VHS era work well to add that extra bit of charm to the compositions that bring the sonic environments into pure nostalgic bliss. Birmingham Music Library even went so far as to sandwich the album between a clever intro and outro that instantly conjures to mind those short pre-feature runners that bore the name of the production or distribution company, firmly solidifying the feeling of popping in that old tape to watch one of your favorites.
Between this intro and outro, we get several little gems including one of my favorite tracks on the album "everything is in colour and i can feel the air." A slowly picked guitar that reverberates among airy and warping pads play out as an emotional dialogue unfolds in the forefront, discussing the feeling of being in the moment and feeling truly alive. The next two tracks largely carry this theme onward, though with less dialogue. On "Seen From Rowton's Hill," the words are so low as to be indiscernible yet still present as the synth layers create something of a mysterious atmosphere, as if what we are supposed to see is so distant that it can not be made out. After the outro, we then get a bonus track that feels like extra scene that rolls well after the credits ended, alluding to a furtherance of the story that we never get to fully see. It's an interesting experience that takes the idea of nostalgic re-watching to an immersive level that really does service to the idea.