a closer listen

Himmelsrandt ~ 4 Moments & Rain (With Track Premiere!)

Himmelsrandt‘s Schneeland was one of our picks for Best Winter Music in 2016.  4 Moments in Rain takes a step back toward autumn, “as if in anticipation of winter”.  This lovely album pairs a re-recorded version of the four-part Rain EP with a new quartet of fall-inspired works that end in a brief shower.

It’s October now; there’s no escaping the fact that the summer has withdrawn.  We’re in a liminal time, during which a burst of cold or warmth may visit, as if escaping its designated season.  This is perfect music for that sense of change: leaves half-on, half-off, jackets ready, but not always used.  “Autumn Lights” bursts into a different form of bloom than spring, its palette of mustard, gold and vermillion a contrast to the fading emerald hues.  The viola is particularly warm, like the central part of the day.  The track is a reminder that autumn is a time of gain as well as loss, and that even this loss is more exaltation than whimper.  After this, the opening set grows ever more introverted ~ russet rather than orange ~ despite the presence of electronic drums, which simply call attention to the march toward the end of the year, referred to here in exaggerated fashion as the “End of all Life”.  For a few minutes, Peter Honsalek puts everything but piano aside, but then, as if remembering the appeal of autumn, feeds the other instruments back in: mournful at first, yet finally accepting.

And then the rain begins to fall, drenching the memories of summer: a cold rain, but not yet sleet.  Those days will come.  For now, there’s still time to finish the fruit preserves, gather batches of books, and pull the blankets from the eaves.  “Drops” wraps back to its start like a season returned.  One can track the precipitation on radar.  By this point, it’s inevitable; by the title track, inescapable.  One long note descends like a cloud, stretching nearly the length of the track.  Finally the artist sits alone at his piano once more, tucked in for the winter, larders filled, ready for the cold.  (Richard Allen)

Available here on 27 October

And now our exclusive premiere of “End of All Life” ~ thank you to Unperceived Records for the honor!