Alex Murphy aka Tonewood Sky is a complete DIY artist. On his recent release Thoughts Within he not only played all the instruments but did all the recording, mixing and mastering himself. On top of that he even did the artwork and photography for his album cover. Thoughts Within is an instrumental album that puts the guitar at the focal center of the action.
The music is hard to classify music because it feels so broad at times. There are aspects of everything from alternative to ambient to psychedelic. I have to say a couple of the song reminded me of something I might hear from a myriad of different bands. Thoughts Within contains the type of music that can be listened to both passively and actively. It makes for great ambient music while you are reading or working since it is wordless but also is quite enjoyable when focusing your attention on it.
The first song “Forever In a Day” definitely has its own vibe from the rest of the material which revolves around drums, bass and guitars. Murphy pours some chorus like effects on his guitars which gives the song a 70’s funk vibe. I have to admit there were a couple of sections on this song which seemed like they were begging for vocals.
“Lost for Words” is a beautiful, sparse track that contains exceptional guitar picking. The song feels very open for a number of reasons and also benefits as a segue to “Endless Oceans.” Murphy focuses on the piano as the main instrument on “Endless Oceans” although guitar is still present within the mix. “City of Snow” is dreamy, psychedelic tune while the closer “Sundown” seems to be the track that focuses less on one particular instrument. “Sundown” successfully combines multiple lead parts into an engaging myriad of textures.
Thoughts Within is a solid effort from Murphy. The five songs meld together well despite having different tones and textures.
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