Located in the suburbs just outside of London The Magic Pinions project is a solo venture for Bouquets' mandolin player Nick Simon. He recently released an album entitled Little Catastrophes, which is quite an original album and at its heart could be considered an ambient piece but has a lot more substance than others in the genre. The album was recorded using various instruments from kids' keyboards to the bouzouki; blowing into beer bottles to field recordings of the surrounding woods and more. To its benefit the album’s sound is incredibly organic as the textures rise naturally and effortlessly combine to give a unified feeling.
According to Simon this album was “Created as a soundtrack to the suburbs at night, long summer days, strung out evenings in the boroughs just outside of cities, when the walks home from the pub after hours is a time when not a soul is to be seen.” It is an interesting concept that most are familiar with and gave me something further to think about while listening. No matter what the subject matter this album is often serene, nostalgic and can give you a sense of tranquility.
The album opens with the hypnotic “PIF.” The strings sound like a cloud of calmness that surrounds you. It feels familiar, open and inviting. Additionally, it really sounds unique. You can point to references here but its structure and originality is a breath of fresh air. “The Clearing” is another extremely well crafted song that continues with the same serene, nostalgic vibes as the first song. It feels like the continuation of a dream sequence from the first song as all the elements seem to fall in the right place.
“Nina” builds from its beginning growing stronger as time progresses. This song has a sense of triumph that wasn't apparent in the first two songs. It is a nice change of pace. We are introduced to sparse vocal work on “Riverside” while “Only Yesterday” is full of melancholy and solace. The album closes with “Lights Out,” which is a forward moving piece that is covered in the perfect amount of white noise.
If you want innovative ambient music that has more substance than what you may be used to I would check out Little Catastrophes.
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