Updated: Jan 28, 2021
Slumberwyrm, the Drowsy Dragon is a Drone Ambient music project based out of Springfield, Missouri which features musicians Steph Foley and Steven Senger. Released on October 16, 2020, their newest release Warm Drinks on Cold Days contains some eerie Electronic musical passages with an earthy, organic ambiance.
Warm Drinks on Cold Days is comprised of four tracks, all of which clock in over 10 minutes. Each track is cloaked with analog hiss that can give the listener the impression of listening to an obscure, vintage Electronic music album from the '60's or 70's. I hear influences from Kraftwerk and La Monte Young throughout the album along with very subtle hints of tonal blurriness akin to the Impressionism era of Classical music.
Opening number "Snow Mountain" begins with some bell-like vibrations ringing in the background before it transitions into an ambient drone. A low, warm, ominous bass drone appears and carries on nicely until a series of woodwind like instrument enter and add layers of eerie apprehension to the murky setting. Met with a series of foreboding cello-like bursts throughout, the piece is peculiarly interesting as it is jarring. The second track, "Wide River" contains a more consistent, straightforward drone. A faint yet prominent beat, made by a marimba or a glockenspiel, evokes the feeling of a steady pulse throughout the piece while being occasionally drowned out by a hypnotic aural tapestry of low timbre saw waves. "Warm Tea" brightens things up just a bit in its juxtaposition of major and minor tonality. A more subdued series of low timbre saw wave patches give the piece a near infrasonic feel. Some sparse vocals appear throughout the piece, adding to the already melancholy, pensive atmosphere. A haunting, powerful violin part enters the piece past the halfway point of the work. Although the phrasing is much more simplistic than intricate, it adds an effective element of drama to the overall work and brings it to a somber conclusion.
"Journey Home" begins with a haunting, Clarinet like woodwind melody that appears atonal without inflicting too much dissonance. It gives the effect of a lonely, haunting call out into the wild. The wind instrumentation continues sporadically throughout over a drone of warm pads - distinctively minor in key - that creep higher into the lower-mid range of timbre. Slightly distorted violins enter the piece towards the end, performed repeatedly with a drone-like quality until they build up with more intensity and dissonance as the piece nears the end. Yet there is no grand crescendo or finale - the piece fades out on the bed of warm pad synths before disappearing into oblivion. Overall, I recommend giving a listen to the newest release by Slumberwyrm, the Drowsy Dragon, Warm Drinks on Cold Days. If you're an aficionado of Ambient, Drone, and Electronic music with a vintage tonal quality, a warm timbre, and a chilling, earthy atmosphere reminiscent of a forest on a bleak Winter morning, then this may very well be to your enjoyment.