On the first morning of a long road trip, when you leave at 5 am and the sun has yet to show itself, A Little Bright Window may be just the thing you need. It’s louder than a whisper, yet miles away from abrasive. On Susuwatari’s debut album, Aaron Lindsay, along with friends and contributors, deliver angelic harmonies set to a variety of acoustic melodies and handmade rhythms. They also manage to tiptoe mildly in electronic sounds. The album is light and tender, but also contains a vivacious energy and brightness nearly perfect for the early morning hour, or really any time of day.
The indie music project, Susuwatari, is fronted by Aaron Lindsay and based in both Rochester, New York and Boston, Massachusetts. The name Susuwatari is a reference to the much loved, fictitious ‘soot spirits’ created by Studio Ghibli, the Japanese animation film studio. Susuwatari draws influence from bands such as Sufjan Stevens and Bon Iver, although elements of Iron & Wine, Fleet Foxes, and the Head and the Heart also slip in.
Released in August, A Little Bright Window, was largely bedroom made and produced. According to Susuwatari, none of the songs were finalized when the recording process began. Sometimes this method served Susuwatari well, allowing for an improvisational, casual affect. At other times however, it resulted in sounding unfinished, and unedited.
This is not an album about self-discovery. It’s something similar, but much more quiet and humble. On A Little Bright Window, Lindsay untangles himself and works to learn how to love himself, and by extension, the people in his life. His lyrics contain self-aware, earnest expressions of daily emotions and life vignettes. On the track “All That I Want,” Lindsay sings the gut wrenching line “On the third of June, / Friday / I told you that I loved you / and you cried / and told me to keep going.” It’s delivered in the mellow, matter of fact tone that only comes with reflection and acceptance.
The bones of A Little Bright Window are rock solid. This beautiful album, possibly a subconscious homage to mornings, offers a collection of lovely harmonies underneath reflective lyrics.
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