Aaron Naylor started writing music around fourteen years of age which happens to be the same age that I started writing as well. I’m thirty-eight now but the songs I wrote at fourteen were just silly. They were about a petting zoo and the sandwich I just ate. Naylor recorded these songs when he was sixteen and seventeen but apparently he has a much deeper mind than I had at this age. The album is entitled Songs for Pondering. It’s a whopping twenty-three songs. The songs range from sad to sadder introspection most of which has a recording of a couple people talking about some subject you can’t usually make out as well as one instrument. There are a bunch of songs where he just sat down at an instrument and started improvising.
Take for instance “11:30 on 11/30 in A Major.” Naylor is strumming a couple of minor or major chords on an acoustic. “Stuffed Hollow” is long drawn out piano chords that are extremely lo-fi. “Groundhog Day” is the same thing with some people chattering in the background.
Sometimes the conversations take over the music and I felt like I was just in a high school class where the teacher stepped out for a minute so everyone is talking. As the album progresses the songs are all varying degrees of this. Some of the pieces have an organ, others a guitar, etc.
All of the songs have this melancholy residue that Naylor is trying to hit up. It’s this sort of nihilistic, existential dread that often a lot of times seems to be considered more meaningful when pensive and somber for some reason. This music can beautiful and has been done almost to perfection by artists like Fennesz, Jon Hopkins, Windy and Carl, Stars of the Lid and Keith Fullerton Whitman to name a few. I think it would behoove Naylor to spend some time with these artists if this is the type of music he wants to continue making. Songs like “Glide” by Fennessz and “Abandon Window” by Jon Hopkins would be good starting points in my opinion.
I also want to commend Naylor with this thought experiment. It was an interesting idea and although I wasn't alway taken back by the music I felt there was some added meaning by the way in which the songs were recorded.
Pondering itself can go in all sorts of emotional directions. In this case Naylor seems to veer towards the sadness that can sometimes be associated with deep thoughts about the meaning of our lives and the universe we navigate through. As I mentioned this music can be deeply moving and Naylor is just at the beginning of his journey if he continues to make music. I hope one day to hear a composition he wrote that can overtake the melancholy we all undoubtedly feel from the weight of being and turn it into solace.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook