Sand is Suki Kuehn. He is a solo artist currently living in New Orleans who released A Handful of Sand. His music is a mix of prog, experimental and a couple of other similar like-minded genres.
The first thing that stuck out to me was the sort of midi sound this album has. Midi isn’t an actual sound; it’s a language that is used to make sounds but when midi first became popular in the '80s you could identify it the aesthetic quality.
Kuehn puts it to good use here. This to me was a nice combination of tones, textures and colors. The album is somewhat of an array of sounds that transition, change and mutate. For reference I think Frank Zappa, Yes and King Crimson.
The songs are on the longer side and two go past the eight-minute mark. This made it an exploratory playground for Kuehn to flesh out ideas. That being said, while each song had some similar aesthetics each song still felt like its own island. He does so with tempo and the palette of sounds but more importantly it’s the emotional resonance that he can create. Some moments are more meditative while others are energy fueled.
As I sunk more into the album I definitely felt like this is music you need to pay attention to in order to fully embrace the ideas. The ideas, riffs and melodies come and go at a fast pace. I preferred using headphones in order to fully immerse myself in the music.
Overall, this is a very good album that I’m sure fans of prog rock in particular will enjoy. There is a lot of music, so take your time, pour yourself a drink and enjoy.
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