If you enjoy epic, nostalgic music not unlike that of M83 and Sigur Rós than you are not going to want to miss the debut album from Slow Motion Picture entitled In Memory of... There are ten songs on the album all of which were written by Brian Ceaser as a way to cope with the passing of his father. Slow Motion Picture undertakes the task of writing songs, which can often come across as pretentious and contrived and bypass it completely. The songs on this album are heartfelt, visceral and filled to the brim with emotions that feel all too real and relatable.
In Memory of... is an intense journey that starts with “Opening.” The first thing you hear is a field recording and someone whispering, “I had a dream.” A mysterious atmosphere develops which is dream-like itself. Once the drums, bass and guitar enter into the picture you are catapulted in an upward momentum that feels as if you are ascending into a spiritual world. I wasn’t expecting the song to abruptly stop and be treated with female vocals but was glad it did.
I was excited for what was next after such a prolific opening and wasn’t disappointed with what unfolds. “From Under Paris” contains excellent vocal melodies that wrap around the soaring music while “I've Been Quiet Too Long” is more grounded but just as majestic.
The most poppy and catchy song on the album is “Everything That Was.” “Everything That Was” is hopeful but also dance worthy at times. It an interesting contrast but it works wonderfully. As the album progresses it displays consistently refined songwriting that suggests the band is just getting started. “Mistakes We've Made” and “When This Nightmare Ends Its Course” were two songs that were highlights amongst the batch. The band closes with the longest song on the album entitled “The Wolf.” It’s a powerful ending that doesn’t feel like it can reach any higher before fading away.
After listening to the entire album from start to finish I was exhausted but I also felt cleansed. In Memory of... is a cathartic purge that probably isn’t suited for daily visiting but when used at appropriate times it is on the verge of therapeutic. Ceaser used these songs to cope with his father’s death and they are indeed close to his heart but it takes a lot skill, talent and vision to translate those emotions to an audience so they can empathize. In the end Ceaser found the right people to bring his music to a place that connects with the human experience and instills a sense of uniformity. You can’t ask for much more than that.
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