For most of us we go through our days hoping to have even half a glimpse of something pure even if we don’t always realize it. We try to connect but sometimes we are confronted with the advertisement of a company's product, the impotent words of a self-professed guru or small talk between co-workers we have nothing in common with. We can go through our day and all the artificial flavor we have to endure can leave one feeling empty.
This is where art comes in. It’s there to fill that void. It’s there to show that something pure can exist. And when it comes down to it music is an art form that has resonated with human beings for centuries and served that purpose. Certain music from artists such as Sigur Ros, Star of the Lid and composer Max Richter contains ethereal, plenary qualities that seem to reflect the truth we seek with sound. Lauren King is an artist from Wellington, New Zealand whose music contains those same qualities.
Her first solo album Inscape is a melancholy, reflective, tranquil and nostalgic album that relies on orchestral strings, white noise, soft atmospheric pads, oscillating synths and much more to create soundscapes. The titles of the songs and the album cover reflect the sentiment of the music. I think that most people will at the very least appreciate this exceptional album. That being said it’s safe to say if the first track doesn't have an effect you I doubt the rest of the album will.
Inscape is broken down into nine songs which transition seamlessly from beginning to end. Up first is the title track, which fades in with sustained sound of orchestral strings. It could easily be used as the music during an epic battle in a movie. The song has a forward moving momentum that is wrapped in both melancholy and hope.
“Introspection” feels like you are underwater and you mind is recalling memories from when you were a kid. The song actually contains faint field recordings of what sounds like toddlers. “Daylight” utilizes a backward sound effect but then transitions into the clarity and refinements of orchestral strings. As the album progressed the two tracks that stuck out to me were “Philosophy” and the closer “Reflect.”
Truth be told Inscape may not be everyone's cup of tea but for me it was an exceptional album. The songs can instill a sense of wonder and serenity that unlock the purity we seek.
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