A Closer Listen tends to be positive in its reviews, so sometimes it’s difficult to tell which releases we like more than others. This page lets you know what we’re listening to and enjoying the most.
Zenjungle ~ Fragmented Lives (Midira Records)
Saxophone, violin and cymbal drums decorate these immersive drones, relaying a story of resilience in the wake of political catastrophe. The drone genre continues to be a source of unexpected strength in the new year, picking up fragments and gluing them back together.
Powlos ~ Pareidolia (Faint)
This year’s first winter album looks and sound like the season, with vast electronic soundscapes an aural reflection of the tundra. To some, the frigid outdoors seems stoic and uninviting, but Powlos brings out its majestic allure.
Ian Hawgood + Danny Norbury ~ Faintly Recollected (Home Normal)
Best heard as a single piece, this half-hour work is cool, calm and collected, graced with light chimes and an overall feeling of comfort. For those who choose to stay inside this season, it offers the perfect accompaniment.
Ben McElroy ~ 1,000 Sewing Machines (Unknown Tone Records)
This tender album was released on the first full day of winter and is as hushed as a snowfall. Strings and guitar play quietly in the yard, occasionally bursting with joy yet for the most part displaying an avid contentment. Extra props to Mark Kuykendall for the evocative cover.
Olli Aarni ~ Nielu (Florabelle)
The album was released in fall, but it didn’t sound right until now. With the winter vortex and an Arctic chill in the air, it fits perfectly. These drones are like the onslaught of a soft yet ongoing winter storm, and provide a fitting score to frigid, cloud-filled nights.