Heavy Cloud - Echo
Released: June 29
Released on the UK-based Hard Return label, Heavy Cloud (one of the several aliases of Ryan Hooper) has created a piece of music that explores the nature of memory and its absolute fragility in the face of time and illness. This four-piece composition relies heavily on small loops of piano and ambiance that repeats over and over with changes in the length and quality, gradually degrading and recovering in small discrete bits that are unrecognizable and crystal clear at different moments. It's is something rather poetic, playing with the idea that something can be exactly the same as it was despite the individual not being able to recognize it in any meaningful manner.
Consisting of four tracks of varying lengths, the album opens up with a track sharing the title of the album itself - a long-form track that begins with a sparkling piano that fades in and out through its ten minute runtime, sometimes seeming to disappear into a void only to suddenly return with all of its original clarity. "Juno" largely caries this theme onward with a new piano sample accompanied by a faint clattering of the keys themselves, at times overriding the tone of the keys itself. It is only once we hit the third track, "Her Voice Has Life," that the composition veers into the more ethereal yet still stuttering and manipulated pads that give us more than the failing piano loop to hang on to. Once we hit the final track, we experience a slight return to the first track, but one that has nonetheless been affected by the entire experience.