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Lowercase Noises - Passage CD (album) cover

PASSAGE

Lowercase Noises

 

Post Rock/Math rock

2.95 | 2 ratings

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Finnforest
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Travels and transitions

Lowercase Noises is the moniker of multi-instrumentalist Andrew Othling who hails from Albuquerque, New Mexico. He has become one of the premier post-rock/ambient/instrumental artists out there, and if you are a fan of these genres who has not yet heard his music, you are missing the boat. Othling seems to prefer to let his music do the talking for him, but has dropped a few hints about his EP "Passage" calling it "an album about transition" and stating that it was about a specific place on planet Earth. Some fans have wagered guesses about where but I'm not sure Othling has confirmed their guesses. It doesn't much matter to me for as usual his music takes me many places far and wide.

"Passage" indeed does seem a transition from the blue moving ambiance of "Migratory Patterns" to the somewhat (but not very) conventional storytelling genius of "This is for our sins" released just this year. You can hear the banjo and cello stepping forward and sharing more time with the guitar, a sound choice that increases on the latest "Sins" album. In fact, similarities in the sound and artwork almost make "Passage" feel like the songwriting warm-up for "This is for our sins." The metaphor of passage or travel is taking place as an album theme but also speaks to Othling's continual growth as an artist. While he once primarily made sound with his guitar and myriad effects, he is now reaching for all sorts of new colors without losing the relaxing flow of his music. Yes, there is banjo on this album but it still is instantly recognizable as Andrew. The album's five songs are all beautiful, relaxing tracks that pull you in and lower your heart rate. You are soon immersed in the weaving of shimmering guitar, light piano, occasional dramatic drums, and moving cello swells. There is such a mixture of joy and melancholy to his songs, an ability to delivery serenity in a way that is interesting rather than sleep inducing.

The album, like several of his offerings, was made available in limited vinyl release with incredible packaging and art. This is a guy who understands the new frontiers and realities of music fandom and he overseas the creation of quite special releases. It may be small fry compared to the distribution models of the past, but for those who discover an artist like this, the rewards for both are huge. The fans get product that is very special, sometimes even hand made, while the artists enjoys a more intimate connection to the fan base.

Finnforest | 3/5 |

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