Brian J. Podesta – Heart 2 Hearts

An album of largely solo piano works (with just a few tracks dipping into larger arrangements, such as the addition of acoustic guitar on “La Nascita”). Solid playing, based largely in a classical context, with perhaps just touches of pop and jazz. 

Definitely a little spicier than what you’d hear tinkling away behind you in the local piano bar, but overall placid, relaxed and relaxing. This kind of thing isn’t super common these days, so if you love (mostly) solo piano and yearn for some new listening material, you’ll want to give this a try.

(Listened to tracks 2 thru 5)

My Turning Point – Home

There’s something so essentially ‘90s alt-rock about this album, yet it doesn’t really sound particularly much like ‘90s alt-rock. The vocals, which are a strength of this album, are a big part of it – singer/songwriter/everything-doer Leon Evans sounds a bit like all the big singers of the ‘90s grunge movement rolled into a ball and then toned down from the tortured histrionics that dominated that era. Beyond that, it’s mostly a feeling – my gut tells me this artist came of age in the ‘90s, or at least on a steady diet of the best music from that era.

Musically, at its heart this is just a rock and roll album, centering the guitar and supporting it with bass, drums and the occasional synth/production flourish. And, like most of the best rock albums, this one is about heartbreak and sorrow. Lyrically, there’s a lot of looking backward with regret and trying to move on, with occasional flashes of hope. It’s a classic recipe, and if you need that in your life, you could do a lot worse.

(Listened to the entire album)

Ordos Mk.0 – “Routine” 

A lovely, lilting ambient track that builds a sense of space and beauty atop the sound of a train running over the tracks (quietly, tho). Gorgeous sound design and an understated use of dynamics and layering create an engaging musical soundscape, and the use of the train sounds and a touch of tape hiss/noise combine with that to offer a real sense of place. 

The track was intended to offer a sense of beauty that gets ignored because of its familiarity and if it fails in that, it’s only because it’s just a little too beautiful to ignore. But hey, add it to your relaxation mix and soon enough it’ll fade into the background like all the other delightful things we learn to ignore because of their familiarity.

Gahlord Dewald – Ashuelot

Intriguing experimental work combining double bass with electronics and field recordings. Has an almost jazzy feel at times (think avant garde, not smooth) but mostly sticks to the wholly undefinable. Despite some pretty weird stuff going on, there’s a grounded element that comes from centering an acoustic instrument that really helps cement this as more than esoteric noodling. 

All three of these tracks are solid, with the final one, “Two Songs, a Dance and a Conclusion” standing out as the strongest, with its varied moods, use of tape looping/Frippertronics and deft , minimalist approach. Most definitely worth a look from anyone interested in electroacoustic music, or just anyone who’s interested in weird electronic music who wants to move beyond the more typical expressions of that field of music. 

(Listened to all 3 tracks)

Apply Triangle, Reilly Spitzfaden – “If This Reaches You”

Oh look, another electroacoustic submission! Funny how that happens – months between hearing stuff like this, then two in a week. This one is a bit more out there than the last, but it’s an interesting trip that’s full of surprises. Woodwinds, radio noise and samples, and some chill electric piano are all set on a collision course and end up wound around and thru each other. 

Sounds a bit like early Scanner collaborating with a handful of classical musicians, but everyone is on datura (in a good way). Probably for adventurous listeners only, but I know that’s a fair few of you who follow this, so enjoy!

Choan Gálvez & Solo Va – “Undressed #2”

Curiously enough, this also sort of fits our electroacoustic theme. Here we’re pairing an electronic-based track with ukulele, which is a little off the beaten path. The electronics are deep and weird, with barebones rhythms anchoring echoing lines of squelching synth, but it’s the ukulele that is the star. 

Somehow sounding dark, epic and mysterious (I didn’t know uke could pull that off!), it offers a reason for the electronic accompaniment to exist. This will challenge your conception of what the ukulele can do, in the best possible way. 

Discover more from Ether Diver

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.