Maddy Briggs - Late Night Swim
Released: June 16
Her first release in nearly a year, Late Night Swim by Maddy Briggs is a near continuos three-part composition that instills a strangely calm feeling. Each track has this quality of swirling around in the stereo space that makes the title even more apt than one could imagine. Utilizing only leftover organ and piano tracks, Briggs sets up an ambient experience that contains a surprising amount of dynamics, playing with panning and oscillation to a degree that makes me feel as though I am floating through the water myself. For me , the sensation of floating has always been slightly nauseating, but Briggs implements this aesthetic in a way that feels a bit more astral than physical, much to my surprise and pleasure.
The original three parts consists of "Late Night Swim" parts I & II plus the finale "At Bay." The first two parts seem to almost be an extension of one another which the second part being a bit more ethereal-feeling with periodic bits of slightly glitchy swells while the first part centers around rich ambient organ textures with heavy modulation. Both tracks fully immerse the listener in a pool of sound that consistently moves around the listener with rich sounds. The effect is a weird and borderline psychedelic, similar to a sensory deprivation tank. "At Bay" takes this effect and then slightly amplifies it with the addition of field recordings of quietly lapping water, giving some added intensity to the swirling effect that is felt throughout. To round out the experience, there are to alternate mixes at the end - one of "Late Night Swim II" and "At Bay." These "Stillwater" mixes downplay the swirling effect present in the first three tracks and instead give us a more straightforward ambient experience. These two tracks provide a nice calming chaser to the intensity of the first three, providing a bit of a break from the constant oscillation of the turbulent pool we found ourselves in earlier.