There is nothing quite like a studio recording. The rooms are padded perfectly to keep the sound from bouncing around; there is a whole rack of different guitars and bass guitars all with vastly different sounds waiting to come out of them. There are amps and stacks placed all around the room, the floor is crisscrossed with cables and bits of duct tape and someone has spent hours making sure the drums are mic’d just right.
When I think of studio albums the first ones that always come to mind are the Beatles. Sgt. Pepper’s, Abbey Road, et al. These were studio albums that were made with state of the art equipment at the time and tirelessly worked over again and again until they were so perfect that they would forever sound amazing.
Let’s contrast this way of recording music with the complete opposite side of the recording process; the home or in this specific case the bedroom recording. The name itself immediately brings about visions of quiet intimacy, of songs that are often recorded at the very edge of night when it seems as though the rest of the world is asleep and there is only this one being alone with their thoughts, quietly playing and singing so as not to wake the rest of the world.
This is precisely the aura given off by the bedroom folk project O Memorie, the namesake of South London’s Joseph Ruddleston but which features global contributions with backing vocals by Janine Purce, Mairi-Clare MacLean, Natcha Chirapiwat, Florence Cullen-Davies and synths and guitar by Carlos Mario Boscio González Their haunting and intimate self-titled first release O Memorie is reminiscent of the Justin Vernon project Bon Iver, whose debut was recorded in a remote hunting cabin in Northern Wisconsin.
With the very opening track on O Memorie, “O Memorie I” the intimacy of this project becomes apparent. We are at once enveloped by folksy acoustic guitar and piano as well as a mild miasma of overdubbed vocals that are both haunting and sweet. Next comes the severely lo-fi tape crackle on the confessional and powerful punchy piano laden track “Thimble” which sounds like something from the more experimental back catalogue of the late great Jeff Buckley. “Helen Hugh” starts out very straight-laced quiet acoustic and then in the vein of Amen Dunes grows morphs into something wonderful and strange. O Memorie closes with the restrained power and beauty of “Lost.”
O Memorie is at times dark and haunting as it is bright and up-lifting. The songs are thought provoking and powerful. One need not wait until the dead of night to listen to them, as they sound just as good on an overcast afternoon.
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