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.
Max Richter ~ Voices (Decca/Deutsche Grammofon/Universal Music)
A celebration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Voices contains multi-cultural readings, a 50-piece orchestra and the soprano tones of Grace Davidson. It’s another declarative statement from a singular composer.
Julianna Barwick ~ Healing Is A Miracle (Ninja Tune)
Inspired by the ability of the human body to heal itself, Julianna Barwick offers this sonic balm, with guest appearances from Jónsi, Mary Lattimore and Nosaj Thing. All is well.
Atli Örvarsson ~ You Are Here (INNI)
A tribute to home and hope, You Are Here refers to the artist’s return to his home town in Iceland, but can be expanded to include a sense of safety and belonging. The album builds up to “Flying,” a heartfelt tribute to Jóhann Jóhannsson.
Various Artists ~ The Isolation Tapes (Castles in Space)
Five hours of music strewn across one CD, two cassettes and bonus digital downloads, The Isolation Tapes is one of the season’s highlights. Not only is this collection massive, it’s uplifting and of high quality throughout ~ a rarity given its size. Even better, it’s a fundraiser for the Cavell Nurses’ Trust. We don’t feel isolated anymore.
Inventions ~ Continuous Portrait (Temporary Residence)
“It’s all right, it’s okay. I don’t worry about the future. You’re okay.” It seems unusual to highlight the dialogue samples on an otherwise instrumental album, but these have a particular impact right now. Continuous Portrait is a solace and an encouragement, combining the talents of two artists from disparate genres to produce something more than the sum of its parts.
Rone ~ Room With a View (InFine)
A beautiful, life-affirming album, Room With a View begins by addressing climate change but by the end provides a way forward for those struggling in darkness, yearning to see the light.