Current Album Placing: 3rd
Although this is not my all-time favorite album, at the current time, I believe this is the best example of my taste in music, and in this blog post I will attempt to explain why c:
It actually took me a long time to listen to this album in full. The only reason for that is at the time, I liked to put music on to help me get to sleep. This album is so peaceful that I fell asleep to it pretty quickly the first few times I tried to listen. But the first time I got through the whole thing, I knew it was instantly in my top ten favorite albums, at least.
SO! Let's dive right in UwU
So, first of all, let me try to describe the way the album sounds to me and why it works. As I previously mentioned, this is one you can easily fall asleep to if you're not careful! It is pretty quiet most of the time, so it requires careful listening in order to hear everything it has to offer.
Adjective dump time! This album sounds dark. Not in the sense that it has lyrics that contain disturbing or sad imagery, but dark in its atmosphere alone. In fact, for the vast majority of the record, I can't understand the lyrics. Personally, I don't need to. The music contains all the emotion I need. It's moody. It's melancholy, bittersweet, and nostalgic.
The way that this album achieves this sort of feel through music alone is through its instrument choices, its chord structures, and its melodies. Many of the sounds chosen to be used here are sounds I can say I have never heard anywhere else. It uses ambient noise fairly frequently, especially in the opening track, Hú Hviss, which serves the purpose of setting the tone for the rest of the album. In this track, in particular, they utilize noises like creaking, wind, and wailing—the latter of which you can't tell is a voice or some sort of siren.
And there lies one of the major pluses of the work: production value. You can tell the band put in a fuck ton of work to make it sound good to the ear. And not just that, but to also make it sound very unique. And this is why it adds to the tone. Adding noises that you've never heard anywhere else gives this album a sense of otherworldliness and magic.
In addition to its electronica, the album also uses a variety of traditional instruments, not many of which I can name either. These are blended in with the electronica seamlessly. And the instruments aren't the only parts of the music that add to this sense of wonder, either. The main singer's voice also plays a major role. Her voice sounds innocent, pure, almost childlike in its delivery. This serves as a major contrast to the dark and moody tone of the music, creating this feeling of being a child in a dark and scary place.
2. Musical Diversity
I think there is one thing that I value the most in songwriting over everything else, and that would be creativity. I could also call it, you know, experimentation, weirdness. Basically, music should be constantly surprising me. This does not necessarily mean that a song is better if it constantly throws weird shit at me (but, that can still be good too—check out The Lemon of Pink by The Books), rather it should be always trying to subvert my expectations.
This can come in many different forms. Here are some helpful examples!
- Uncommon time signatures
- Changing time signatures during songs
- Taking out or adding in beats at unpredictable intervals
- Not having the same fucking song structure as every pop song
- Having more complex chords and chord structures
You get it. Basically, I want music to go out of its way to be different. Does this album do this? Yes! In what ways? Well, turns out that it actually does each of the things I literally just listed. I didn't even plan that. Whatever.
So, why is surprising the listener important? Because that demonstrates that the artist gave enough of a fuck to CHALLENGE the listener. It means they put effort in and cared enough about their art to make it their own.
BIG DISCLAIMER: I am NOT saying that if music does not follow these criteria, it isn't worth listening to. I am saying that for me personally, I will appreciate music more if it DOES do these things.
3. Why I Like It
I can go on and on about each of the songs and try to explain why it's objectively more interesting or creative or whatever, but fuck all that. Chances are, you're not going to listen to this, so going through it all and pointing out specific things would be pointless. Instead, I want to share what I feel when I listen to this, because that's something you can relate to. And then after seeing what I feel, then maybe you'll be able to make a more informed decision about whether you want to spend time listening to it or not.
Summer Make Good makes me feel like a little girl again. I traveled far from home. I'm not sure from where, or how long I've been traveling for. Across the water, in a little boat. I just know that the whole time in that boat, the sky had been in that state where it's not night yet, and the sky still has tricklings of light.
But then night finally came, and the boat softly came upon a beach. Beyond it was a huge, towering void of forest. Yes, it was scary. Yes, it was probably dangerous. But I must have been there for a reason. Why else would I have come there in a boat? Where else was I meant to go? So I went. While there was no light to see, I still had my hearing, my touch. I could experience the world differently in a faraway place.
And there's something beautiful about that I think. I really love the idea of exploring strange new places. So I went into the forest and experienced it. I could see nothing, but I wasn't blind. I didn't know where I had come from, but I wasn't lost. There was no one around me, but I wasn't alone. Each of the songs make me envision a different part of this strange land.
I like this because it's not afraid of sounding sad. And it's not sad in a concrete way. It just has this looming sense of melancholia. But it also doesn't sound hopeless. It sounds like you've lost home, and you'll probably never return, and yes, that's awful. But there's this strange beauty in just drifting away. You have nothing to worry about anymore. You've returned to a state of absolute peace. It's a profoundly beautiful idea to think about, for me.
Thanks for reading!