Seven Crows is the project of Los Angeles-based violinist and producer Christopher Murphy. Murphy recently released Secrets of Navigation which is an album that contains a lot of texture, atmosphere and more but at the heart of the music seems to be the orchestral strings. This music sounds in a similar vein to acts like Silver Mt. Zion or Godspeed You! Black Emperor to my ears. It’s haunting with darker colors of blacks, browns and grays. I would say this music is perhaps a little more ambient than both those aforementioned artists. Percussion is not a huge factor to the music but the atmosphere certainly is and is constantly evolving through the songs. The songs are also very hypnotic and create this sense of space and mood.
Take for instance the opener “Chamoru” which creates a loose sense of apprehension and seems like it works out in a number of movies from Charlie Kaufman. That is just a taste because the wonderful “Returning” is hopeful, pensive and comforting. I got a similar feeling that reminded me of when I listen to Sigur Rós.
“Secrets Of Navigation” is much more cerebral and meditative. This song sort of goes past the normal polarity of happiness and sadness. There is meditative zen like quality that allows you to just observe and notice the sounds which are appearing.
“Last Letter From Orson Welles” however could be the music for a noir film. I was picturing rain in a depressing city, alleyways and the archetype of the detective who is sitting at the ’50s style diner with a killer still on the loose. “Two Swords” floats around and we are introduced to some fuzz and distortion.
We get some movement on “Nightsong.” The song could be thought of as a build that never finds a peak or a meditative landscape to allow your soul to be playful. If you listen past the first minute the latter should start to emerge. We return to more haunting textures to tickle your spine on “Black Ash.” The closer “Ancient Ways” is more ethereal, serene and cosmic.
This release is one of my personal favorites this year. Instrumental music can have so much depth and I would argue sometimes it can pack much more meaning that you can acquire through words, sentences and language. This is an album that touches on the ineffable about things we feel but we don’t quite know how to say.
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