TimHeld, from Seattle, WA, is no stranger to music. He was the former guitarist/vocalist for the band Tyrannosaurus Grace, but turned to focus on electronic/ambient music after the band split. His solo effort, The Move, is a cohesive, imagery-laden piece that is fairly easy to get lost in. At just over 20 minutes and four songs, it’s an easily digestible EP that can be, and was written to be, enjoyed in one sitting from beginning to end.
“Mood A” starts atmospheric; images of birds tweeting and chugging along in a field come to mind, superimposed with a soft, meandering piano melody. This soothing, optimistic introduction is cut short by the impression of engines roaring and takeoff occurring. A heavy beat drops, and the piano comes back with more fervor. This song makes great use of alternating sound feeds and electronic effects with whizzes, whirs, and deep, heavy buzzes punctuating every move.
A soulful piano melody transitions us from “Mood A” to “Mood B.” Record scratches lead us into a merengue style track underlay with an electronic twist. This song is markedly more upbeat than “Mood A,” and is the most spirited song on the EP. It was hard to sit still listening to this track; the rhythm alone is hip swing inducing, and the synth work is simply phenomenal with the use of layered melodies.
“Mood C” sees an abrupt end to the party, and you’re treated to skillfully placed voice samples that sit perfectly atop the rolling melody. “Mood C” is the cooling off period for this album; other than a very high, quiet irregular rhythm that just tickles the top of your ear, and the occasional echo, there isn’t much variation.
“Mood D” starts off on a cheerful beat, and makes you wonder if perhaps another adventure is waiting for your ears. It calms down quickly, however, and encompasses the tone of an end credit screen of a video game or movie. The beginning explores a melody that is gutted, slowly reintroduced with various instrumental effects, and then brought back full force at the song’s apex. The tones bring forth a touch of sadness, but joy at having experienced the EP at all. The feeling fades away, accompanied with an alien aura sound that drives the extraterrestrial ending home, and warbles out with just enough humor to satisfy you, as if the artist threw in a hint of his personality at the end for flavor.
With the perfect balance of songs you would hear in a disco, and calmer melodies you can enjoy in a dark room with headphones on, The Move has a lot to offer even to the most casual electronic/ambient music listener. Each repeated listen unlocks a new piece of the story. TimHeld mentions that he intends to do live shows in the fall, and I sincerely hope he makes it to my town so that I can see the magic firsthand.
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