Located in Youngstown, Ohio Stephen Andrews is an artist who recently released a five-song EP entitled White Spaces. Andrews’ cover art is fairly indicative of the type of music he makes. It’s haunting, nostalgic and melancholy but perhaps the biggest similarity is that both the cover art and the music are minimal yet powerful. Andrews doesn't over complicate his music by relying on an endless supply of sounds. Instead he chooses his palette and works with what he has. The music on this EP is purely instrumental and could draw comparison to artists such as Tim Hecker or Fennesz.
Andrews open with a hauntingly, beautiful song entitled “Can’t You See?” The song is broken up between piano and distant sounding atmospheric pads that sound like pure nostalgia. Andrews doesn't play more than a couple of notes on this song but they are all the right ones.
The second song “Canyons And Airplanes” has more girth and more momentum. It starts off with a sustained hum and sparse notes from a synthetic bell. The energy comes in the form of a fat synth bass. Other percussive elements begin to drop and it starts to sound like the beginning of a song from the Chromatics. Andrews takes his time as he is in no rush to get to the finish line. By the five-minute mark he has settled into an ethereal groove that is subdued yet engaging.
“All I Wanted Was More” creates a thematic landscape I could imagine being used in the series “Cosmos.” Lush swells orchestral pads combine with delayed percussive effects and vocal harmonies. The track is certainly grandiose and should be played at a loud volume.
Andrews ends the EP with the six-plus-minute “I Have Loved Thee,” which is the most serene song of the five. It instills a sense of tranquility as the single piano notes dance upon a cloud of warmth. The song could collapse at any moment but does not.
White Spaces is a solid EP that works very well depending upon your mood. The music is rather simple and enhances your sense of mystery and nostalgia.
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