Albums

Maybe They Will Sing For Us Tomorrow

hammock

Hammock - Maybe They Will Sing For Us Tomorrow

I happened across this album a while back and immediately fell for its warm ambient sound. The music calls forward memories of Brian Eno and Aphex Twins ambient works. It’s delicate yet lush and seeps into every ounce of my attention if I let it take over. Melodies are slow and hypnotic as they build organically from note to note. Its rate to find ambient music with so much soul.

Artist site.

Beyond

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Marihiko Hara & Polar M - Beyond

Upon hearing the opening track, ‘April 15th’, I was hooked by its hypnotic piano melody. There is a touch of spoken word at the end that threw me off at first but I have come to enjoy as I hear it more. While the album does drift into some light beat driven territories it rests primarily on an ambient bed lead by piano and guitar melodies. The songs are melodically joyous and relaxing in most cases which makes it great music for calm mornings.

Release info.

Spaces

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Nils Frahm - Spaces

I can’t remember the last time I heard an album recorded live, in concert be this powerful as a whole. Nils’ music takes a whole new life in this context where his ten fingers manage to bring these studio compositions to new life. I cannot get enough of this record and I know I am not alone. An instant classic, no one should be without a copy of this record.

Artist Site.

Home

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Hideyuki Hashimoto - Home

I stumbled on this release by chance and I’m happy I did, it’s beautiful and I keep coming back to it. This is a perfect headphone album for a calm afternoon. The way it was recorded leaves you able to immerse yourself in the music. Hiding behind gentle piano melodies there is a distant layer of ambient sounds from the room it was recorded in. No tricks or heavy reverb, just a squeaky piano played in a relaxed, quiet environment. For fans of honest playing and a warm feeling of nostalgia, look no further.

Bandcamp.

Cloud Room, Glass Room

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Pan American - Cloud Room, Glass Room

I think of Pan•American’s music as ambient post rock, not surprising considering the artists roots in the band Labradford, a like minded effort. This album comes after a long hiatus for the project and he didn’t skip a beat. The music here is pulled along by more rhythmic elements than I remember hearing in his other albums and the approach in general feels more organic and less electronic which I don’t mind at all. I always appreciate artists who find new ways to explore their music making without totally alienating what made them great to begin with. His style is well in place here and if you enjoy this record I highly suggest you check out his earlier albums as well.

More Info.

Keeping Up

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JBM - Stray Ashes

I discovered JBM a while back when I was checking in on the latest from Western Vinyl and bought it on a whim along with another record. Sonically akin to the likes of Jose Gonzales and Damien Rice, his songwriting and voice are easy to love. While I prefer his low key songs more than times when drums come into play the album works well as a whole and it finds its way to my turntable on a regular basis when I need something modest and down to earth.

Artist site.

I Sleep. At Waking.

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Memotone - I Sleep. At Waking

I happened across this album while checking in on the electronic label Black Acre and casually put it on one afternoon and was blown away by the dark calm hiding in this release. The music straddles a line between a number of ideas and genres using components of music concrete with a more melodic and sometimes rhythmic backside that hides in the background until just the right moment to sneak into the music. While some songs come across as almost eerie at times overall you will find a deep emotional statement. To me it feels like walking through the backstreets of a big city in the rain. The album works well as a whole so pick a time when you want to get lost and put this one on your player.

More on the artist here.

Loyal

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Heathered Pearls - Loyal

I have always loved ambient music but I have always been really picky about what records I put myself into. It is such a unique genera in that it is not as obvious as pop music, it takes patience to enjoy. There are a lot of different directions it could take, everything from tacky new age sounding melodies for yoga studios to noise based drone music that holds one sustained note for 20 minutes. There are of course happy mediums to discover and artists that use the genera to create truly creative, emotional music unlike anything else out there.

My personal history listening to ambient started with Aphex Twins Ambient Works II, then I discovered Brian Eno, then came Tim Hecker’s Haunt Me, and later I fell in love with a number of Japanese musicians such as Daisuke Miyatani who were using a lot of environmental recordings and incorporating them with sparse instrumentation. While there have been a few I have enjoyed on the noisier and more drone based recordings that I have enjoyed I have always gravitated toward ambient music that told more of a story. It’s amazing when ambient music is able to convey an emotion and it is this type that I get so lost in when I let myself fall in.

This brings me to this amazing album by Heathered Pearls, Loyal. I was immediately hooked on the first track and its subtly gritty sine tone music box like melodies which instantly brought me back to some of the early ambient records that made me love the genera to begin with. Listening to Loyal with a good pair of headphones and kicking back somewhere comfortable is like being wrapped up in a cocoon of warm sound that gently persuades your mind to wander aimlessly through the noise. The music here is classic yet stands on its own as a powerful collection of great ambient music. No fan of the genera should be without this in his or her collection.

Artist Site

Contrail

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Kane Ikin - Contrail

The thing about ambient music is that it seems to speak to each listener differently. It is a meditative genera that leaves your mind to wander. The speed of the changes in tone and any hints at a rhythm alter in your mind depending on your state of awareness. It’s a beautiful way to amplify things you are feeling and center yourself.

Enter Contrail, yet another wonderful release from 12k. You may be familiar with Kane’s work as part of Solo Andata which is also a beautiful album that for some strange reason I have not added here yet. The music on Contrail features beautiful ambient melodies which gently create a bed for sparse guitar and other meandering layers of sound and melody. These elements all combine to form engaging compositions ripe with warmth and a delicate sense of wholeness. I am excited to have this in my collection because although at 20 Minutes it can feel short once you get lost in the music I can’t help but continue to head back to the start and listen through again and again.

It has been released on a 7” vinyl record which I find highly appropriate for ambient releases such as this. Something in the act of putting a record on adds so much to the listening experience. I can only hope that 12k continues this series of releases on vinyl or perhaps even expand it to 10” or 12” inch records as well but I won’t hold my breath as they have traditionally stuck with CD releases.

Artist Site label page

Holopaw

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HoloPaw - S/T

I have no idea why it took me as long as it did to discover this album. John Orth is front and center within the music as the vocalist and his distinct songwriting and singing lingers and keeps me coming back for more. He seems to go largely under appreciated as being part of Isaac Brock’s Ugly Casanova project. Maybe this is why it took so long for me to find his music. I remember going out to see Ugly Casanova long ago when they were touring for their release (boy do I regret not picking up a vinyl copy of their album at the show). This is easily my favorite album from Holopaw because of its quiet, country/folk influenced feel. The harmonies and simple yet lush instrumentation often seem to get stuck in my mind. It is an essential album for your collection that should not be overlooked.

Artist Site

Lentemuziek

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Laura Arkana Met Peter Broderick - Lentemuziek

While Peter Broderick needs no introduction among these pages, Laura Arkana was new to my ears when I came across this album. While she sings in Dutch and I cannot follow along what she is singing about I still find myself gravitating toward her voice and wonderful, uplifting melodies. Peter Broderick’s classic elegance is found on every track and makes for a beautiful collaboration. It’s one I am happy to have a vinyl copy of, perfect for a quiet night by the fire.

Artist Site

Jacob

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Ezza Rose - Jacob

This was a gem of a find. I love this sort of soft, lo-fi singer songwriter music that pushes expectations of what an album like this could be. She incorporates a number of styles and instruments into the mix which I really love. Most songs have a gentle sway about them with a touch of classic country/bluegrass that adds a nice charm to the music. If you enjoy the recent movement of underground folk artists and lo-fi recordings this will be right up your alley.

Artist Site

Felt

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Nils Frahm - Felt

I Find it hard to believe it took me so long to discover the music of Nils Frahm. Its nothing short of amazing and has quickly shot up the ranks of my personal favorites within the world of quiet music. Felt is a sparse work centered on the piano and dashes of minimal electronic elements. The result melts into my mind as I hear it. His performances on the record are telling of his ability to use the piano as a voice in which he is able to communicate a sense of calm. The post production and mixing work using a handful of nostalgicc sounding synths has been added with a delicate touch and leaves the original recordings of piano plenty of room to breathe within the music. The soft sounds of keys being pressed and the subtle ambience of the room in which it was recorded gives you a sense of being present during its performance and lets the listener connect in an intimate way. I find this to be essential listening for anyone that follows You Disappear.

Artists Site

A Winged Victory for the Sullen

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A Winged Victory for the Sullen - Self Titled

I came across this album while checking out what was new over at the label Erased Tapes and quickly fell for it. It’s full of lush music driven by piano, strings, and subtle synth work and leaves your mind at peace. This is beautiful, meditative music. The kind that leaves you daydreaming of those impossibly perfect moments that only exist in your mind. If you let it take shape and lay down and give this album the attention it deserves your breathing slows and this becomes a soundtrack for your imagination and personal space. Maybe I am over stating it a bit but I believe music can bring such meditative calm to anyone if they let it soak in.

Artists site

On Being Lumpy

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Squanto - On being Lumpy

I love coming across humble, self released albums such as this. The music holds a sentimentality that can get lost in the polish of label releases. Listening to this takes me somewhere in my imagination that is an invented memory of laying around in front of a fire while friends pluck away on guitars and instruments and occasionally find stories to tell as they sing along with the light, floating melodies that emerge from the somber mood hanging in the air. A warm experience all around and well worth supporting.

Artist Site

Thora Vukk

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Robag Wruhme - Thora Vukk

Here is one for those of you who enjoy a rhythm to your calm moments. You will find an intricate blend of field recordings, clever sound design, and dim beats to guide your mind as you listen. WIth its slow pull you may find yourself feeling uplifted by its warmth as quiet beats lead you to nod your head along to the music. I can’t help but feel a wash of calm happiness while I have this record on and I love it. It feels like the warm sun shining upon my face on a cold day. Highlights in my mind are the short interlude between the more beat driven songs in the ‘Brücke’ series which add breathing room to the overall experience. Beautiful music not to be missed.

Artist Site

Tones

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Small Sur - Tones

This was an exciting discovery when I came across it. A new record of beautiful hushed music that is familiar and has a sleepy calmness about it that I really love. The wavy melodies sung through a warm hushed voice with songwriting that leaves me feeling at ease. There are a lot of beautiful layers at work as the songs glide forward which blend together in a way that leaves me discovering new favorites every time I listen through. Highly recommended.

Artist Site

Folding In On Itself

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Ezekiel Honig - Folding In On Itself

I could not help but add this wonderful minimal ambient album to youdisappear. Using collected sounds, synthesis, and a minimal rhythm at times, Folding In On Itself ends up being an amazing work from start to finnish. It’s one of those albums that is perfect for rainy days or contemplative time alone and I can’t get enough of it. It was released on the always great, Type records. One of the best labels in the world for amazing ambient and exploratory music such as this.

iTunes Link - Artist Page

III

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Mt. Egypt - III

Mt. Egypt fell into my mind after a friend shared a song with me a year or two ago that I really loved but for some reason I never got around to looking the artist up again, that is until I heard the guest audio engineer at a club I work at put on one of his albums between sets and I knew the voice was familiar so I had a look and sure enough it was Mt. Egypt. Odd thing was that it was at a metal show that this happened so I was not at all expecting to hear such great, quieter music being played. So the next day I went online looking for more of his music finally and came across his newest album and saw it was available in a limited vinyl form and bought it sight unseen. I was not at all disappointed and it quickly has become one of my favorite new music discoveries. This seems to be his most calm, collected album and I really love it. Clever but simple, insightful songwriting that I cannot get enough of.
Highly recommended.

Artist Page

Durée

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Minamo - Durée

The ever impressive 12k deserves its own category here on the site. I feel like I have slowly been filtering in every album I hear from their catalogue and it shows no signs of slowing down. This release hinges on a beautiful minimal esthetic driven by lightly picked and strummed guitar and piano layered with bits of electronic and acoustic accompaniment that fill in the space between notes leaving me with a light hearted sense of fulfillment. This album has been one of my go to sources for calmer moments and I happily recommend it to anyone looking for something to breath life into any moment in your day needing a peaceful interlude. An interesting fact about the music is that it is being performed by four different musicians. Usually music so minimal and haunting comes from one or sometimes two musicians yet these four manage to play music together in this delicate without adding a lot of clutter to the overall sound. Great music, not to be overlooked.

iTunes LinkArtist Page

Hymns

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Kele Goodwin - Hymns

It seems like it had been a long time since I had discovered a new soft spoken songwriter with a wonderful voice and ability to capture my attention. That is, until Hymns fell into my hands. Long time favorite Hush Records released this wonderful album of gently sung stories and lullabies. His voice calls forth distinct similarities to Nick Drake and his hushed, deep vocal delivery and I can’t get enough. It is impossible not to slip into a peaceful state of mind with this album on. Perfect for snow falling in slow motion or a warm sunset.

iTunes LinkArtist Page

"We Sit On Floors We Stand on Chairs"

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Woodworkings - "We Sit On Floors We Stand on Chairs"

This album was recommended to me long ago through the site and I have wanted to get it posted here ever since my first listen through. The music found on this release will do nothing less than leave your mind breathless as it is cleared out and left full of light. These are drifting ambient songs that explore the boundaries between soft organic melodies and gritty distortion. At times melodies will drift through a song cohesive and lighthearted but slowly spin outward into a looser form only to eventually be found again as time progresses. Other moments bring a thick distorted buzz that will fight its way to the top and give an interesting contrast to what hides beneath.

Through and through it is a wonderful listen and a really solid release that any fan of the genera should certainly check out. My favorite piece from the album is the first cut, Sketch (adrift) which ended up being one of my favorites from 2010. You can pick this up choosing your own price so you have no reason not to head over and check it out.

Album page on Bandcamp

Klavierwerke

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James Blake - Klavierwerke

This is surely not the last time you will see James Blake come up here on You Disappear. While I am curious to see where his career takes him he certainly had a great year in 2010 releasing a number of EP’s all unique and thick with a distinct appreciation for doing more with less and showing a large amount of potential as being a heavily influential voice in the future. This is by far my favorite release of his to date, calm, a bit dark, and thick with emotion. The music here has a great moody and deep electronic influence yet it still holds so much soul in its approach. Simple, minimal music that will leave you nodding your head with your eyes closed. The perfect late night headphone album and one that I highly recommend.

iTunes LinkArtist Page

Untitled

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Steiner - Untitled

Surely this is the music they play in heaven. This album came up as suggested listening and within the first couple of minutes I was hooked. I have a soft spot for meandering electric guitar without the aid of any elaborate effects and this release delivers on that craving with elegance. I was initially a little worried at the fact that the release was one single 25 minute piece of music because modern musicians who take this approach often end up with something a bit over conceived and often leave me wondering if or when it will end.

This song however doesn’t seem to wear on me, it grows slowly across my mind and calms my nerves with each pluck of a sting. To be honest, it’s been a slow start to this year and i have been feeling a bit uninspired as of late but for the first time in a good while I found my mind had that old spark of motivation that had been hiding from sight. The peaceful, organic sounds of the recording put my mind at ease and reminded me to slow down, take one thing in at a time and it felt good.

The physical CD release comes available with original polaroid artwork which I love.

Bandcamp page for the project.

Out Of Forgetting

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Szymon Kaliski - Out Of Forgetting

Like a fuzzy memory lurking somewhere in the back of your mind this sparse yet fulfilling album will bring forth the feeling that the world is slowing around you. Subtle layers of piano, crackles, and warm beds of ambience will leave you catching yourself staring off into nothing as your mind wanders among the layers of sound rolling through your ears. I love music that can achieve this and I encourage anyone else who appreciates such delicate omnipresent music to give this album some of your time.

iTunes Link - Artist Link

Cowbirds and Cuckoos, Part Two


Ryland Bouchard - Cowbirds and Cuckoos, Part Two

Here we have a great short collection of music that was released as part of a two EP set packaged as an album. The two sides holding two different aesthetics with one voice and this side, part two, is what I recommend for fans of the music on this site. Simple, stripped down songs sung with heart. Lyrically it’s a little on the dark side but the beauty of the melodies are what suck me in and I cannot help but relax when I put this on. Its beautiful stuff and I highly recommend it.

iTunes LinkArtist Link

24 Postcards In Full Colour


Max Richter - 24 Postcards In Full Colour

It took me a while to really fully absorb this album but once I gave it a full, closer listen I realized it is amazing work, and while none of the songs venture outside of a couple of minutes of length the album works really well as a whole statement. It seamlessly drifts between intricate little piano or orchestral pieces and more avant guard explorations into slightly experimental moments that explore sound and sampled sounds as a means to create emotion and he pulls it off without getting in the way of the overall peacefulness cast onto you as you listen. The music here is like a dimly lit hallway, a little haunting but totally fulfilling through and through.

iTunes LinkArtist Site

Casino Versus Japan


Casino Versus Japan - Self Titled

An amazing album from a musician that only seems to be really known of on the underground of the electronic music scene. Thick synth landscapes and melodies that move the songs like waves over you as you listen along. This is the debut album from Casino Vs Japan and was released years ago yet it manages to hold strong through the years and has just recently been re-released and possibly remastered along with its emergence from the depths of electronic music history. Think a moodier Boards of Canada if you want a comparison to work with. The Album is certainly best when listened to as a whole as the songs are divided and subdivided into movements which I really love.

iTunes Link Artist Page

Map In Hand


Seaworthy - Map In Hand

More wonderful subtle music from the 12k label. Due to the name of the group I can not help but draw a comparison to water while describing the music in words. Imagine laying in a boat, birds flying overhead, the slow splash of water hitting the side of the boat... imagine the sea is singing, a soft ambience that drifts in and out like waves and the birds overhead are echoed with the sounds of meandering clean electric guitar spinning around swooping in and out of higher altitude. The sun shimmers against your vision and you squint through the glare and feel the warmth of it on your face. Its music that is inviting and warm and simply exists as you listen and get drawn into its understated presence in your ears...

Artist Page (on the 12k website)

The Blue Notebooks


Max Richter - The Blue Notebooks

This album was the first of its kind that I was introduced to, this new breed of modern classical artists that seem to be growing in popularity. Well, for all I know its been popular for quite some time and I have just been living under a rock, I make no claim to be an expert. At any rate, the first two songs that I heard from this album are two of the shorter pieces on the album but easily standouts and from what I know have been used in at least one film if not other places. Simply brilliant little piano compositions, one is Horizon Variations and the other is Vladimir’s Blues. These songs are heartbreaking in their short but beautiful existence and I could not help but fall in love with the music after hearing them. The rest of the album ventures all over from more orchestral moments to a few short moments where a narrator reads pieces of a story and while at first I found this strange It quickly grew on me once I started to pay attention. After finding this again recently in my ears I realized it had not been added to the pages here and it being a modern classic of sorts I simply had to add it and if you have not had the pleasure of hearing this release already, I highly recommend you do.

iTunes LinkArtist Page

Welcome Nowhere


Thanksgiving - Welcome Nowhere

You wont find any nice shiny production value here. You wont find any well rehearsed and perfected songs here. What you will find are songs performed with feeling and if not true spontaneity then a wonderful illusion of such. This is music that you put on and it simply exists in its quiet, honest way and it evolves with its slightly off pitch interpretations of songs and feeling which bring your eyes to close and your mind to a stillness. If you can appreciate music sung with this sort of loose interpretation of what acoustic guitars and singing should be then there is absolutely no reason for you not to pick this up. I’m nearly positive this album has a pretty successful following and for good reason, it sort of hides itself in a really beautiful unique way in my mind and when I put it on I cant help but hum along. I first discovered this by chance when I bought a vinyl copy of it at a Microphones show a few years back. It was begging to be bought what with its recycled record cover and mysterious presence among the other Microphones records. As for the music, think minimal acoustic guitar, a hushed singing with a breaking male voice, and sneaky layers of music that lull you into a state of calm. One of my favorites of this approach to music and the ‘singer, songwriter’ mentality. I have no idea why I have not posted it here before but now, here it is. It has since been reissued on vinyl after these originals all sold out and the reissue has fancier artwork and more music which I still have not heard but would love to one of these days...

iTunes LinkArtist Page

Halfway To You


Coastal - Halfway To You

While this band has been around for quite a while I only recently discovered them through a random Twitter comment of all places. I was hooked in all of 30 seconds of the first track on this album. It is music for slow motion moments in life and easily some of the best music of its kind I have heard in a long time. Slow moving compositions for reduced heart beats and the end of long days it comes layered with dreamy layers of male and female voices singing in a whisper on top of subtle electronics, guitar, drums and it all pools together to form a warm collage of sound. Perfect for lazy summer nights I would say. Very much looking forward to digging into their other releases.

iTunes LinkArtist Page

Insen


Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto - Insen

Its hard to deny the brilliance of this album. Its simplistic yet complex in its approach, taking the soft understated piano compositions of Ryuichi Sakamoto and combining them with the minimal clicks and edits of Alva Noto, a master of the clicks and cuts style minimal ambient arena. The result is one of my very favorite albums to put on when I need some peace within my mind. The way these compositions evolve is so completely unique. At times the piano is left to lead the way through the composition while the minimal ambient edits layer a tempo along its side and other times the edits make themselves the center of attention and take the piano notes for a ride. There has been a few albums in this series with them but this stands out in my mind as my favorite and it simply cannot be missed by anyone as addicted to the minimal side of music as I am. Do yourself a favor and at least listen to the song Logic Moon all the way through. You wont regret it.

iTunes LinkRaster Noton (label page) • Alva NotoRyuichi Sakamoto

God Is Saying This To You


Kurt Vile - God Is Saying This To You

I have been listening to the album Wagonwheel Blues by War On Drugs for a long while now it seems and was one of my favorite releases last year, brilliant spacey noise pop sort of music. I never really dug much into who the band was, where they were from or their history. I recently discovered an album by this musician Kurt Vile on emusic that I instantly fell for and upon a tiny bit of looking around discovered he is one of the two founding members of War On Drugs which probably why it felt familiar listening to it. This album is probably not going to win over every listener that may check it out because of its loose form and lo-fi aesthetic but I really love his approach. He is one of those artists that can confidently take a simple idea and make it shine and the simplicity of it is what draws me into it. I hear he has been signed to Matador and I am curious to hear what that brings... It leaves me feeling nostalgic somehow for a road less traveled, only I’m not sure why exactly, sometimes music simply... connects.

iTunes LinkArtist Page

Chessa


Shuttle358 - Chessa

The 12K label has been releasing subtle minimal ambient music for some time now and recently I decided to dive into their catalogue a bit deeper and came to discover I was missing out on some really phenomenal music. Among the releases I came across was this album by Shuttle358 which I believe recently sold out in its physical form. When it comes to ambient music I am pretty cautious and I have trouble jumping on every random ambient drone album that happens along my path so when an ambient album comes along that breaks away from the droning masses I cant help but take notice. The music on Chessa I can best describe by calling it lush and warm. As you listen through the album it takes you beyond what a typical ambient release may take you and covers a lot of territory with hints of a lo-fi folktronic sort of a feel at times as well as notes of subtle minimal IDM sneak through and its all hold together by its warmth and dream like presence. Its nearly impossible to describe ambient albums I realize because they have a tendency to be a pretty personal listening experience usually, not really party music and so everyone may have different reactions to the music inside so have a peak over on the itunes samples, which were more than enough to get me hooked, and have a listen to what I am fumbling around trying to describe.

iTunes LinkArtist Site

The Night Just Keeps Coming In


Dakota Suite - The Night Just Keeps Coming In

The Dakota Suite album ‘The End Of Trying’ (iTunes link) is a beautiful piano heavy instrumental album that never quite captured my attention as a whole and upon further digging into the history of Dakota Suite’s music I came to find that he had released a number of albums in that name and one of the ones I came across while looking through his various releases was an album of re-interpretations of all the songs from his End Of Trying album. Sort of remixes but more a retelling of the music he had written for that album and it managed to hit something in my music loving self even more than the original recording did. The collection of songs is performed by a number of wonderful artists, a couple of which I have written about here and a number of others that belong here on You Disappear one of these days.

The album flows really well and I think that its because of the fact that the music itself was already written and the artists that performed and re-imagined these songs simply added their own sense of beauty to the mix and pushed each song into a new space of its own. Im having trouble describing the experience the album brings so I will stop rambling and leave you to discover it for yourself.

Among the musicians featured are Loscil, Peter Broderick, Jacaszek, Swod, and Hanuschka....

Artist Page • Was limited to 300 CDs but is available digitaly on Boomkat

Ten Duets


Peter Broderick - Ten Duets

I will start of my saying that this release is unfortunately already sold out and gone from buying existence, which is a shame really. It was released in limited number on cassette tape and quickly sold out at the various places which carried it. Peter Broderick has quickly made a name for himself in the past couple of years and for good reason, his peaceful minded approach to creating music is easy to fall in love with and this release is no exception. Its stunning in its simplicity, each song written and performed with only two elements, two instruments, ranging from piano to violin to sampled environments. Its a recent favorite and I can only hope that one day the music may be made available again in another format but perhaps it is best suited to remain a musical rarity in its physical form, scattered about the world in a small handful of collections. I usually dont ever condone the use of the internet to find music among file sharing sites but I may have to make an exception here because its very much worth tracking down. The version of it I have here is simply someone who recorded each side of the tape as two audio files which I kind of like because it feels like its being presented in a way that is true to its original format. So heres to hoping it will become available again but if not, happy hunting.

Artist Site

Clouds


Wixel - Clouds

I have written about Wixel before here on You Disappear and his wonderful series of releases from this year (2009) where he is releasing a new album of music each month for the whole year. Each holds a different idea or theme and so far all of them have been pretty wonderful considering most of the time I see musicians try to pull off this sort of project it sort of end up falling flat in a lot of ways. Wixel has done a wonderful job of keeping things interesting and continues to putt out release after release of beautiful, understated music from month to month. Among these releases Clouds, his February release, is easily one of my favorites. It comes across as an ambient music record only a highly organic one that, as the title implies, feels like a perfect soundtrack for watching clouds drift across a sky. The opening track sets the mood all to perfectly as it leaves your mind instantly drifting through your thoughts as you get tangled in its web of warm drifting ambience. Easily a record I highly recomend.

Artist PageBandCamp page where you can purchase the songs (name your own price!)

Seeds



I cant say much about the artist here outside of the fact that he was involved in another project of his called The Robot Ate Me which I have heard of but not really heard. I cant even remember how I came across these recordings now that I think of it. Just something I stumbled across while wandering the never ending maze of the internet. I am referring to a release that is sold primarily as a collection of four 7” vinyl records packaged in fancy limited edition fashion and I would absolutely love to own the collection of records but at 50 dollars for the basic package its just a bit too rich for what I can pay. Why he chose to release it this way is sort of strange to me but I’m sure he had his reasons. I love the idea of limited vinyl releases and the special feeling you get holding this object full of music that only a hand full of other people in the world also hold but it’s not often they cost so much. Enough bitching, what about the music on these fancy little plastic discs?

The short of it is that I think its fantastic. Minimal, straightforward structures are a dime a dozen these days with the million other independent musicians out there trying to make their voice heard in this sort of subtle way but few really shine through the rest. Its why I started this blog here after all... It’s is a wonderful collection of songs where you will find the instrumentation sitting politely in the back of the mix while Ryland’s vocals sit up front and center pulling you into the songwriting with a subtle force that you hardly notice unless you pay attention. The often relatively short songs are split into four little collections of music, one on each of the records and numbered simply Seeds 1-4. I find myself gravitating towards the first disc and the fourth for reasons I cant fully explain, they just connected with me in ways that the other two did not do. I am a fan of simple, honest lyrics that walk along the border of coming across cheesy or over simplified and the lyrics here do a marvelous job of this and give you plenty of moments where you may find yourself nodding with a small smile thinking “yeah... I know what you mean” and its that simple connection that often feels good in this kind of music right?

The songs are available in a few different ways on his website which links to the site that sells them so I will keep things simple and send you there if you are interested in hearing or seeing more. Also, I have posted a video below as well featuring one of the songs and from what I gather, with the vinyl packages you get a collection of videos to watch as well which I wish I could see but so it goes.

Artist Site

Wooden Arms



This is certainly more polished and thematic than most things I post here but its an album I have really enjoyed and thought would fit into the fringe side of the you disappear spectrum. In comparison to his past solo records this album has been produced with more of a straight forward, less elaborately layered feel to it that I immediately fell for. While it still carries forward with a thick orchestral feel the music feels much more easy to grab ahold of and simply enjoy. The part of his music that captures me the most is his voice and the way he stretches it to all sorts of different places and this slower, more simplified recording approach has given it plenty room to breathe and lead the songs. Have a listen and see for yourself what I mean. I have included a video below of him performing a random song in the streets of Paris as part of the wonderful Take Away Show Series. Links to iTunes and the artists site below.

iTunes Link Artist Site

Master And Everyone


Bonnie Prince Billy - Master And Everyone

With what is most likely Will Odhams most well known project he has created some truly beautiful music. Through the years of its releases I have gravitated to a couple of his albums much more than most of his others and it seems like he always has something new out but maybe thats just me. Master And Everyone is a beautiful album through and through. It rings out with a peaceful look into the world of love, heartbreak and life, much like many of the albums that grace the pages of You Disappear. I recently started putting on my vinyl copy of this more often than I even realized until one night it was playing and I found myself completely hypnotized by it’s calming sort of presence in my mind and my voice is always finding its way out of my mouth to sing along with bits of the songs here that manage to whisper truth into my ears. Now that it is back in heavy rotation in my mind I felt I should add it to the site here where it certainly belongs and If you have not heard his music this is a great place to start.

iTunes LinkArtist Page

They Shoot, We Score


Yo La Tengo - They Shoot, We Score

I cannot stop listening to Yo La Tengo’s score for the film Old Joy. Its become the type of music that I simply must keep listening to because without it I fear I may fall apart. The clean and deep electric guitar echoes out a solitude that is truly haunting and is layered perfectly with subtle layers of piano, bass and on occasion, drums. Its a simple instrumental masterpiece that my mind cannot get enough of. The music is available via an album they released which contains music for all the films they have been part of scoring over the past few years and the music from Old Joy is easily my favorite from the collection and is what I am recommending to you here. It was released on CD as well as digitally but not via the usual channels and I can only find it through their site here. There is a note on the homepage saying the sore is broken but who knows, that may be out dated. Either way if you would like to hear the music first simply watch the film, its a wonderful quiet film that may be slow for some peoples taste but I really enjoyed it.

The Night of the Ankou


The North Sea & Rameses III - The Night of the Ankou

This is not the first and it is certainly not the last you will see on You Disappear from the wonderful label Type Records. They have an uncanny ability to find and release some of the most beautiful music out there and this album is no exception. While it took me a while to sit down and give this album the time it deserved this afternoon it appeared randomly while I had iTunes on shuffle. As the music started to creep into my mind I hardly realized it was there. The slow drone of the music snuck into the room like a fog building slowly in the night, slowly filling my mind and causing everything around me to seem at peace somehow. The album itself is composed of only two songs both just shy of 20 minutes in length and each evolve in a way that albums split into lots of tiny ideas or tracks have a harder time accomplishing. Various elements fade in and out among the fog as gently as fireflies attempt to light the moments just before night fully settles in. It’s a really beautiful experience and will hold you in its warmth. Listen and let your heart and your mind have a moment in your day to rest...

iTunes Link • Artist Page (label)

Florine


Julianna Barwick - Florine

Imagine a singular, zen like chant echoing out into a void. A choir of one voice layered and spilling over itself creating a swelling ocean of vocal harmony. That is exactly what you will find here on this short 6 song EP. It’s a beautiful exploration of one voice and a few other simple elements crafted into music that is something like slow motion. While there are no clear lyrics in these songs I find that to be somewhat irrelevant as the melodies and sounds here speak for themselves. I imagine this is what life would sound like if everything was beautiful and moving in slow motion revealing every tiny glimmer of light as something magnificent and spectacular. Maybe these words sound over the top, I don’t know, it is simply what has come to mind while I hear it fill the room.

This EP was released exclusive to emusic, heres a linkArtist Site

Cove


A Weather - Cove

I am not sure where I came across A Weathers music at first but I quickly fell in love with its simple approach. I ended up ordering a vinyl copy which I just put on while I write and it’s reminding me how much I enjoy the album. It manages to be whisper quiet and calm while holding a steady rhythm that adds an uplifting note to the music that I really appreciate. I feel its something really unique in the world of this sort of music. The songwriting is playful yet it holds a wonderful grounding in a peaceful sort of melancholy that, like the music itself, manages to be both sad and happy all at once. Its a wonderful little album that I’m sure you will enjoy.

On a side note the female singing in this group is done by Sarah Winchester which I have featured here as well.

iTunes LInkArtist Page

Laminae


The Green Kingdom - Laminae

This album is one of those beautiful ambient albums that somehow graft onto the world around you seamlessly as though it is music designed to accompany you through any environment and help slow it down and bring out the beauty in any given moment. The music here is a sound that pulls electronic sounds together with acoustic sounds to create an atmosphere that is really perfect for any number of moments in life. With little samples hiding among it’s drifting ambience it adds another world to yours and I absolutely love music like this. The musician is a graphic designer and sound artist who slowly crafts these songs over time and seems to spend a lot of time evolving them into such a natural, flowing sound. It’s a wonderful release and is well worth your money if you are a fan of such subtle electroacoustic ambient as this.

iTunes Link Artist Page

To Trace A Raveling


Tara Jane O’Neil - To Trace A Raveling

I bought this record at a live show where I was running the sound here locally and before that night had never heard Tara Jane O’Neils music before. The show really caught me off guard as it was a really beautiful set of music. I chose this album randomly from her small selection of offerings at the merch table and I’m glad this is the one that I chose. It just appeared to be the most interesting of the bunch because of its hand made silk screening and lovely artwork. As soon as I arrived back at home I put the album on and it immediately became one of my favorite vinyl records to put on late at night as I was just lying around in bed.

The release is actually a combination of two EP’s from her and was released in this way as a limited edition pressing on a label called Mississippi Records that releases nothing but record in small quantities which are apparently somewhat hard to come by. The first half of the record, To Trace is three songs that blend seamlessly together as a whole and was released as an EP called Tracer which was released on a Japanese label originally as far as I know. The second half is from an EP called A Raveling and is my favorite side of the record because of its slow minimal approach. You will find plucked acoustic guitar, layered whispered vocals and an organic ambience that leaves you off and dreaming in no time. I love this music and its beautiful ability to fill my room with a calm that is as uplifting as it is relaxing and its dark sound is perfect for a relaxed late night.

While both EP’s were released in somewhat obscure ways, one on a Japanese label and the other on a Spanish label, A Raveling is more readily available as a digital purchase and is very much worth the small amount of money you would pay for them. The vinyl may be out there for sale somewhere but I’m not sure where to direct you outside of google for that.

iTunes Link (for the A Raveling side) • Artist Site

Bitter Honey


Eef Barzelay - Bitter Honey

While I have written about Clem Snide here before I held off writing about the singers solo album and I have no particularly good reason to have done so. Maybe because this album is not too hushed and quiet, maybe because I was not sure if I enjoyed it all the way through, but whatever the reason, I suppose its irrelevant and I am just rambling for no good reason. That aside, I have given this album more of a chance and it has grown on my quite a bit and I have ended up playing it a lot as of late.

The music is pretty straightforward, singing with simple acoustic guitar as its companion but what eventually really pulled me in and got me hooked was his songwriting. There is a balance of humor, sarcasm, sadness, and whit that all blend together and make for a pretty interesting listen through and through. There are a handful of songs on this album that really took ahold of my mood lately and caused me to listen to the album often. I would suggest anyone with a slightly bitter sense of humor about life and love have a listen. It grows on you.

iTunes LinkArtist Page

The Northeast Kingdom Demos


Sarah Winchester - The Northeast Kingdom Demos

This little mini album is really wonderful, its nothing short of a lullaby through and through. Its a perfect sleepy album with a warm feeling that will leave your eyelids feeling gradually more and more heavy as the hushed vocals and guitar fill your mind. Sarah is part of a great group that I should write about here one day called A Weather and has recorded these songs as her first venture into solo recording and they are really beautiful songs that anyone who enjoys calm music should have a listen to.

As of the time of this writing the album is available for free on a nice music label type site that rotates its free releases monthly. The site/label is called Team Love and you can visit them through this link.

100 Grim Reapers


Ben and Bruno - 100 Grim Reapers

Here on the site I posted about a couple albums from the group Wixel and through the fact that visitors from You Disappear went to check out his music he found the site here and decided to write in with a suggestion and it was a great one. He pointed me to this great release from an artist I was previously unfamiliar with, Ben and Bruno. The story behind the groups music is a bit strange and leads you to wonder more about them but I appreciate a little mystery behind music I listen to. The story, as taken from their myspace page is as follows:

“ben and bruno" is a group of songs based around one character named BEN. After losing his mother at a very young age, Ben is abducted by an unstable woman renting the room beneath him and his father (both men have fallen for her). Ben, during his trip (while fleeing from the police), becomes completely infatuated with the woman. The story continues after the capture of the woman as he grows older.... acquiring/losing a dog/best friend (BRUNO), marrying, having two daughters, divorcing. And so on.”

The music reminds of some of the more gentle songs from Mount Eerie and the only reason I say this is to give you a frame of reference. Its simple approach leaves you feeling at peace and its playful yet poignant lyrics draw me in and leave me wanting to listen to it over and over. It was this type of subtle often overlooked gentle recording and songwriting that made me want to start up a site to feature them in an environment full of like minded music. This is great music for the beginning of this spring season as it reminds me of sitting in a quiet field somewhere, breeze blowing tall grass around and the silence of the landscape singing along...

While the CD is now sold out because of its handmade production there is a few vinyl copies left from what I have read and despite not having any extra money at all to spend I ordered a copy anyway. Digital versions of these songs do exist on emusic and they also have a podcast with a ton of live recordings and different versions of their music which can be found in the iTunes podcast listings.

Artist Page (and myspace page)

In the Grip of Light


The Allendar Band - In the Grip of Light

In the last couple of weeks I have found myself putting this short EP on more than any other and I think I finally figured out why I continue to come back to it. Its just a perfect blend of gentle guitar play, drifting vocals, and a subtle yet sometimes head nodding rhythms and it satisfies on a lot of different levels for this reason.

The Allender Band was formed after the leader of the group Robin Allender, released a solo album and decided to add more musicians to the mix in an effort to fill out his songs a bit. The result was this EP and I really love it. His previous solo album is also wonderful and will make its appearance on these pages one day I’m sure. A couple of these songs are re-workings of music he recorded on his solo album.

The music here is certainly more on the uplifting side of the world of You Disappear which I would like to slowly visit more and more as time goes on. In the world of the calmer side of music I think there is plenty of room for music like this that borders whispering and full band recordings really well but don’t just take my word for it, have a listen and see for yourself what I mean.

iTunes LinkArtist Page (and label page here)

Without Sinking


Hildur Gudnadottir - Without Sinking

This album was created by a musician that gained her notoriety from her collaborations with other musicians such as Múm, Pan Sonic, and others. Her instrument of choice is the cello and she is able to create some really inspired, beautiful music with it and within her arrangements. This record is one of her ventures out as a solo artist and it’s a haunting affair all the way through. The music here to me resembles floating in the middle of a sea. It feels like an ambient record only here you will find no electronic elements, only layers of beautiful string (with the occasional wind instrument) arrangements crafted with a dark yet warm presence where each note seems to breathe as if alive they move along. It’s a beautiful organic record perfect for a late night or any sort of contemplative moment. I feel I have not done it justice with my description and urge you to have a listen for yourself if you are a fan of avant-garde style classical music...

iTunes LinkArtist Page

Buddha Machine


FM3 - Buddha Machine

This is a really unique entry here and many of you may be familiar with this but I felt it belonged among the pages of You Disappear because it calls forth the type of calm I look for when I pick music for the site. The artists that created this are a ambient music duo from China called FM3. This is an album released in a way that some people considered to be more of an art piece than a musical album and I agree to a certain degree. This is sort of a bridge between a modern music instrument and an album. On this box there are nine ambient music loops that vary in length but mostly clock in under a minute in length and the idea is that these loops are played endlessly for you as soon as the box is turned on. Its simplicity comes in that there is only two controls, a volume control and a switch that will select a different loop that will play through the built in speaker or the headphone port on the top of the device.

You simply turn it on pick a loop and let it play. It’s really pretty fascinating to me and I love its approach. I was familiar with the loops in the box after enjoying a version of it which was released for the iPhone/ iPod Touch but to hear it in its proper form is really something unique to experience. The box was inspired by chanting boxes found in buddhist temples and lends itself to such an act as meditation or something to just exist in the background of your life. A subtle echo of sound to focus your mind.

Its beautiful really and I am happy to have finally found the right moment to order it and hear it for myself. The box itself is a cheaply made plastic box that is available in many colors and the built in speaker quickly distorts as you turn up the volume and all of this adds to the fascinating experience of the machine... The sounds that sing out from its tiny speaker are really unique and I would recommend anyone interested to look further into it. There is a newer version than the one I have available as well that adds a pitch bend control and nine different loops from the original.

Artist Site (where you can hear the loops and learn more about it.)



Blood Red Bird


Wixel (2009) - Blood Red Bird

I recently posted an album from Wixel but I wanted to add another from the group as they have taken up the challenge of recording 12 albums in 12 months time (over the course of 2009). One for each month and each revolve around some sort of central idea or approach. So far this year they have made it to their third release which is the one I am writing about here. Although I have only heard it a couple of times through it has quickly become my favorite so far and has gotten me exited about hearing the way the project progresses through the year. Typically with this type of approach you end up with a lot of poorly conceived songs without much in the way of real production quality or interesting results for that matter but Wixel has made it seem effortless and I have yet to find a song among this project that left me feeling anything but satisfied. From what I understand from the sites they have set up I believe the music is primarily created by Wim Maesschalc the founding member of the group who is from Belgium.

As for the music on this release they have taken their normally instrumental sound and added soft vocals to many of them and while the music is primarily guitar and vocals the layers of sound and production make it a wonderfully polished and subtle record. The music is a low key collection of songs. In my usual desire to want to come up with an example of where I could imagine this music being enjoyed most I find myself thinking of lying around on a carpeted floor on a blanket and pillows with someone... just lying there with eyes closed while it plays. Im not sure why but maybe you will see what I mean if you hear it. Its a beautiful record and not one to pass up.

I will try and add the other albums from the project slowly on the site so they can be included in its archives. Both links below will take you to a place where you can hear the album streaming and purchase it by naming your own price to do so.

Artist PageBandCamp page where you can purchase the songs (name your own price!)

Colleen Et Les Boîtes À Musique


Colleen - Colleen Et Les Boîtes À Musique

This album was released by an artist that I am sure you will see more of on these pages in the future as she creates some really beautiful music. This album is seemingly more simplistic in its approach than her other albums but really unique and beautiful all the same. It leaves you with a warm nostalgic sort of a feeling. Imagine a music box that stood up and grew a personality and started making music that you could not imagine such a simple thing creating where layers and layers of plucked metallic and haunting notes ring out into the air and dance around the room. With the first track here you will hear the winding of a music box and it is the perfect introduction the the otherworldly sounds that will follow. Its a unique album that most certainly hear. I have included a song below to give you an idea of what you will find here, it’s my favorite song from the album and one of the more peaceful ones and is called ‘Your Heart Is So Loud.’ I would Imagine this is the sound a heart would make if it were breaking. click through to iTunes or her site for more.



iTunes LinkArtist Page

Coyotes


Brian Borcherdt - Coyotes

This is one of those albums that took me some time to grow into. At first I passed it off as just another guy with his guitar but I recently started listening again and found it has been getting more and more play through my days as it has certainly grown on me. It is perfect music for a rainy day where things seem grey and you simply want to feel that grey and relax. The music is a hushed calm and leaves your mind room to breathe as it plays. On the album you will find a delicate mix of soft singing and layers of acoustic guitar and occasional nearly transparent layers of sound that build as the songs progress along. Simplistic, calm, and beautiful. Right at home here on You Disappear.

iTunes Link Artist Page

Burial


Burial - Self Titled

At times I find myself trying to decide how far I should stretch the boundaries of what could be considered to be within the realm of the calm, quieter side of music. Its hard to define because its different for everyone and within different moods. Sometimes its fairly obvious such as music in the world of ambient but even that can drift into being pretty noisy at times. I suppose at best I can simply continue to use my own judgement and eventually begin using a rating system for the level of calm within the music featured.

All that aside there are a number of albums that rest on the boundary of what people may or may not consider calm or peaceful that are on my add too the site list and this is one of them. This is an electronic album that has its foundation firmly laid in its rhythm, slow yet quick and methodical yet organic they carry you along as you listen. It took me at least a year or more to understand why so many people have come to praise the music of Burial so highly but once it clicked I could not stop listening and find that the more I listen the more I enjoy it. I love the way it straddles head nodding moments and ones that are uplifting within their calmness.

I try and think of a way to visualize how this music feels and for some reason two opposing elements come to mind, think fire but somehow burning underwater. The crack, pop, and unpredictable nature of fire slowed by the calm flow and rhythm of the flow of water. For those of you now familiar with his music I would give it a chance, I find it to be really beautiful.

iTunes LinkArtist Page

Somewhere Between


Wixel - Somewhere Between the Sun and the Moon

I am a big fan of the subgenera of music that many have been calling ‘folktronica’ which is a term that I think sounds kind of silly but it works as some general way to describe artists that make this sort of music. It is a sort of light hearted, playful sort of a sound that often uses a minimal approach to composition and the elements in the songs combine acoustic instrumentation along with simple electronic production elements such as sampling environments or light use of other electronic sounds. The combination is common among modern music but it’s the minimal, pleasant, and sometimes avant-garde approach that defines the genera.

Wixel is an artist I only recently discovered and I wanted to add a couple albums from them here on You Disappear. I decided to start with this album which is a wonderfully subtle album of acoustic guitar and playful light feeling that makes for a great album to put on during a sunny day. I feel this album would be perfect for laying in the sun. For whatever reason I imagine lying on a floor in the afternoon sunlight as it comes streaming through a window catching the particles of dust as it floats through the air. I think that pretty well describes the music. Warm and sort of comforting and peaceful in a way. If only every moment in life could be this calm.

Artist PageAlbum Page (a page the artist set up to sell the album where you can preview the songs)

Beasts Of Seasons


Laura Gibson - Beasts Of Seasons

Another great artist hailing from the Hush Records family Laura Gibson is an artist I have wanted to add here for a while now. At the moment this is her latest effort and it does a wonderful job of showcasing what she is capable of as a musician. It’s a gentle singer+guitar album that seems straightforward at first but the more I listen the more I discover in the subtle layers of ambience added by the instrumentation hiding behind her voice and guitar as they lead the way through these songs. Soft orchestral elements and warm deep bass elements add a lot of depth to the otherwise simple, somber, songwriting and it’s really beautiful. Her voice is distinct and begs to be heard as you listen to her sing about the often whispered emotions within our lives.

iTunes LinkArtist Site

Treny


Jacaszek - Treny

This is another trip into the world of traditional instrumentation combined with electronic production elements, Treny is a really beautiful collection of songs combining orchestral recordings and samples with haunting vocal melodies and a wonderful electronic element. Every song on the album will leave you feeling warm as the music is deep and haunting in its production. I could imagine this being the soundtrack to a dream... The album is not available on iTunes but can be found digitally on boomkat where you can also hear clips of the songs I have included a link below.

Artist PageBoomkat

Fordlandia


Johann Johannsson - Fordlandia



This album has taken me some time to digest. It was recommended by a few different people actually and I have come back to it a number of times trying to feel what the music was trying to convey. This morning, a bright snowy morning after 3 days of cold rain, I put the album on again and its starting to make sense somehow. It may be more than the snow covering the ground around me, it may be some of the melancholy dancing in my head or the desire to start making good on some of my grand plans in life. In other words, this album is a gentle uplifting soundtrack for a tired mind. It breathes deep breaths of orchestral swells layered with subtle electronic production and elements that blend into a sort of cloud of emotion. Ha.. My description is a bit much perhaps but suffice to say it is a wonderful collection of music and comes recommended for fans of this new bread of avant classical music that has become so popular as of late. The song featured above is called The Rocket Builder (Io Pan!) and was sort of randomly chosen form the album and I think represents the album fairly well but I think it works best as a whole. This song is one of the more vibrant pieces and not particularly my favorite form the album though..

iTunes LinkArtist Page

Le Fumeur De Ciel


Julien Neto - Le Fumeur De Ciel



Not a lot is disclosed about who Julien Neto is or why he makes the music he creates but in some ways I admire a little mystery behind an artist. It removes all the glamor from it and hides the face behind the music and leaves it to speak for itself. With the kind of music he creates It makes a lot of sense and adds a little more to the beauty of it. From what I know he is a parisian artist and this is his debut full length which was released on one of my favorite labels, Type Records. The music is a backdrop for silence, like fog settling in during a long quiet night. It creates an atmosphere for your thoughts and in a subtle poetic sort of a way it leads you to peace. The style of the music has been described as ‘electro-acoustic’ which is a good indication of what to expect here. It was hard to pick a sample song to share because the album holds so strongly as a whole but the song you can hear in the player above is called VI and is the only song with such a straight forward rhythm but being one of my favorites it seemed like a good place to start if it’s your first time hearing his music.

iTunes LinkArtist Page

Rest


Gregor Samso - Rest



I heard the first album from Gregor Samsa called simply 55:12 a couple years ago and while I enjoyed it did not really stick with me and I lost touch with it. Recently I discovered they had released a newer album called Rest and decided to give it a try. Unlike their previous effort which I may revisit after hearing Rest I immediately fell for it. Maybe its just the mood I am in, Im not sure. The music is haunting and slow, a little post-rock, a little ambient and all of it is really beautiful. The preview song above is the last song on the album and is called Du Meine Leise. Note that it is one of the most gentle songs on the album, the band is six members strong and the songs explore a lot of ideas while remaining within that calm restful theme they created with this release. Highly recommended.

iTunes LinkArtist Site

A School Of Secret Dangers


Amy Annelle - A School Of Secret Dangers



I discovered this years ago when I first subscribed to emusic, which at the time was amazing because you paid 15 bucks a month to download all the music you wanted rather than the now monthly charge for a set amount of songs. Anyway, among the first music discovered there I came across the label Hush Records which I grew to really love. I have discovered all to many great new artists through that label. This record is one that has stuck with me through the years as it is a wonderful album that deserves more credit than it gets and is one of those albums I can always put on and enjoy.

I have sat here staring at the screen trying to find the words to describe the music and its harder to peg than I thought it would be at first. This feels like music for time at home alone or maybe sitting on a porch swing at dusk surrounded by the sound of the approaching summer night, or better yet, a rainy day... They are beautiful lo-fi recordings of folk inspired melodies and singing and comes across in a delicate way that leaves room for your imagination to let loose. The album is littered with samples that fit into the mix in an interesting way and give it a texture and subtext without distracting from the music which I like a lot. While there are many favorites on the album my very favorite has always been the song ‘Will Try’ which you can hear in the player above and if you enjoy the song I suggest digging a little deeper and picking the album up.

iTunes LinkArtist Page

Songs About Snow


Mint Julep - Songs About Snow

I discovered this project through Helios (aka Koen Holtkamp, Helios, and Goldmund). I have been meaning to post an album from Helios here and should do that soon because Koen’s many musical projects all have a place here among the other artists on You Disappear. Mint Julep is a project that he started with his girlfriend and they have a classic calm shoegazing kind of a sound that I am having trouble finding words for at the moment. Those of you familiar with he shoegaze aesthetic know what I mean. Its thick with drifting ambience but with an edge and with smooth echoing vocals laid into the mix. There are a good amount of artists out there putting out this kind of music and this one hits the sweet spot in al the right places, if that makes sense. Sometimes I wonder if my rambling approach to reviewing an albums sound makes any sense to readers. Thats where the music comes in to speak for itself. I will leave you with the recommendation to check out their great music and pick up this album from their site if you like it. It’s a great price for a CD released only by the artist and with handmade artwork to top it off! Here is a song from the album called ‘Stay’.



Artist Page (where you can buy the album) • MySpace Page (where you can hear more)

Un Autre Décembre


Sylvain Chauveau - Un Autre Décembre



As the sun starts to set and the light here fades into darker and darker shades of grey things become more and more subtle around me in this light and the cold of the winter can be felt as it creeps through the windows. With the day dying my mind is getting lost in the idea of the approaching night and what it may bring with it In this moment, a perfect soundtrack for this moment would have to be Sylvain Chauveau’s album Un Autre Décembre. It is a subtle album full of slowly evolving piano pieces that will take your mind somewhere other than where you are. The album is laced with short electronic sounds and noises as songs that are so quiet and understated that even if you are not a fan of this sort of slightly experimental noise among the beautiful sounds of a piano you will probably understand why they are there. They add space and breathing room to the piano pieces and somehow manage to pull the album together as a whole. This is easily my favorite work from Sylvian and its hard to imagine why he isn’t more widely known. Unfortunately this is one of those albums I feature here that is hard to come by at the time as it was released on Fat Cat a few years ago and has since gone out of print and I cannot find somewhere online to buy it other than the occasional used copy. I’m sure that with time a digital version will be released for those interested and for the impatient ones im sure if you look/ask around you could find a copy. (Note: the name of the song I included above is Neuf Cents Lunes from this album)

Artist Site (also here a newer one)

Let Me Go Let Me Go Let Me Go


Jason Molina - Let Me Go Let Me Go Let Me Go

I mentioned Jason Molina’s other solo album previously here and I wanted to take some time to add this to the archives as well. After his first solo record overwhelmed me with its beautiful existence I was excited to discover he was releasing a new one with the same sort of approach as the first, a stripped down recording process that leaves the songwriting and singing upright and center. An approach that results in a wonderfully intimate record that you cant help but get lost in. This second solo effort took me longer to appreciate though, it did not grab me and hypnotize me like this one did. I think it was a case of letting my expectations get to high. The record sat on my shelf unheard for quite some time until one quiet day I decided to give it another go and I was hooked, simple as that. The song that did it is the second song on the album called Everything Should Try Again. Something hiding inside it spoke to me that day and the rest of the album sort of sunk into my subconscious as I listened more and more through time. I have included a streaming version of the song I just mentioned if you are curious as well as a couple links as usual so you can explore the music more if you like what you hear.



iTunes LinkArtist Site

Random update to this post, oddly enough I sat down and wrote another review of this release a month or two later not realizing it was already something I featured here. I liked what I wrote so why not include it here as well... here is my second collection of thoughts on the recording:

The first album posted on You Disappear was Jason Molina’s solo album called Pyramid Electric Co. and I am happy to add his other solo recording, Let Me Go. As with his first solo record the music here is sparse, gripping, and simply beautiful. While I have respect for his work with the bands he has been part of I find that this work he does on his own is simply brilliant. It is music slowed down and deconstructed to its most essential of elements. Each note sung and each instrument that introduces itself echoes out into the space where it was recorded. Subtle recording tricks and ambient sounds in the recording add a sense of being there with the music rather than simply hearing it played. It did take longer to get into this second recording form him but one day the second track on the record called Everything Should Try Again came on and took my attention and never let go. It has since seen a lot of play on my record player and elsewhere because of its honest songwriting and emotionally charged presence. An essential recording along with Pyramid and I really hope that he revisits this side of his music again in the future.

Dawn


Mout Eerie - Dawn



I have been following Mount Eerie (aka The Microphones) for a long while now and the moment when I really started to enjoy his music was the first track from his Live in Japan album, Great Ghosts. With time I grew to appreciate the experimental side of his work seen often in his releases as The Microphones. Really, you never know what to expect from him. From what I have read at some point in the winter of 2002/2003 he took a trip to Norway and spent some time alone there in the arctic and durning that time he wrote a number of songs that have shown up in many different incarnations scattered through his live shows and albums he has released. He has only just recently collected all of these songs into one place and recorded them as they were originally written, alone with acoustic guitar and with minimal production. I have waited years for an album like this and its nice to finally have it around to listen to. The album has been released in a few different ways, on vinyl, digitally, and with a book featuring writing and entries in his journal during the time when he wrote the music. Many of his recent releases have fairly unique and collectable aspects to the physical copies like one album, called Singers I believe which had a record cover that folded out into a giant poster and claimed to be the largest record cover in the world.

At any rate, the music is quiet and subtle and he sings of isolation, self discovery, and living life. The songs are sung and played with a casualness that is common within his music that may take getting used to if you have never heard his music before. I have been listening to this a lot lately and highly recommend it.

(note: the sample song above is called Voice in Headphones, a favorite)

Digital version available hereArtist Site

Past Is Present


Calmer - Past Is Present EP

This EP is the first official release from NYC based artist Calmer and I have been looking forward to it for some time now. Listening to this short collection of songs is like bathing in sound and light as its lush slowly evolving arrangements take you places lost in time and imagination. Honestly, its hard to describe what you will find here in these songs as they straddle many different ideas, on one side of things you have a jazz record and on another you have an electronic release and when you combine these two worlds you get this wonderful unique blend of the two rarely heard with such attention to detail. So if you are looking for something unique and diverse within the world of jazz and electronic I would certainly take the time to check out these four great songs. Below you can listen to a track from the EP called Open Source which you can download here on xlr8r.com.









Buy straight from the label here or iTunes link hereArtist Page

Ghosts Of The Great Highway


Sun Kil Moon – Ghosts Of The Great Highway

I discovered this album while working at a college radio station. I remember putting it on and playing the first track and feeling comforted by the warmth in the music. The album is like a warm ray of sun shining down on you on a cool day. Mark Kozlek, the man behind the music has a singing voice that is subtle and sleepy and makes every song feel like a lullaby. This album finds its way up and down in emotion and has a couple moments where sleepy eyed songs turn a bit more head nodding. It is easily my favorite of the albums he has available as a solo artist and if you enjoy it I suggest also checking out the companion EP of the same name only Vol. 2 which contains a few alternate versions of songs some of which I almost prefer over the originals because they are more stripped down and personal in a way. I know I have not done much here to describe the music itself and I think I will simply leave that to speak for itself if you take a moment to have a listen. Trust me, its worth a few minutes of your day to check out If you have not heard it already.

iTunes LinkArtist Page

Pride


Pride - Phosphorescent

I mentioned another album from phosphorescent here on the site already and I wanted to include my other favorite from him as well because it is equally stunning. I think the most gripping part of the music here is the mood put in place by the shaky vocals of the singer Matthew Houck. The depth in these songs is nothing short of magic and the music begs to be heard while traveling and I cannot exactly figure out why I think that but its what comes to mind when I listen to these songs. Something in the warm drifting feeling of these songs brings forth the idea of a landscape slowly transforming in layers as you ride along in a car or train. That peacefulness that traveling brings. I think that is simply because the music here feels like home in a dusty sentimental kind of way. My favorite song on the album is certainly ‘Wolves’ which is a song where I often catch myself with my eyes closed as I listen, if not just a long blink of sorts like in slow motion. The kind where things around you seem a little brighter and glowing upon opening your eyes and leaves everything within your sight seem just a little more beautiful.

iTunes LinkArtist Page

Ferndorf


Hauschka - Ferndorf

Hauschka’s work previous to this album focused primarily on the idea of the prepaired piano, a sort of avant guard approach to reinventing the sounds and capabilities of a piano and while his previous album is wonderful in its own right, his newest effort here has taken his ideas and compositions a step up and beyond by including a string duo and other instrumentation. Hauschka is masterminded by german composer Volker Bertelmann who has studied classical piano for around ten years and this music project is his exploration into the ideas of using the prepared piano. This album specifically was written as a way to put into musical terms his experiences as a child growing up in a small village and his memory of being outside so much when he was young. The title of the album, Ferndorf, is a word that translates to mean ‘distant village’ and upon hearing the album and knowing this I find it easy to understand this parallel of music, nature, and a sense of home that he has created. The music centers itself on the percussive sounds that exist within the prepared piano’s sound but it fully realized with the addition of the warmth that the strings provide. It’s a beautiful album through and through and I highly recommend you give it a listen. Below you will find part one of a video trilogy created for music on the album and it was this video that immediately drew me in as it is a perfect visual representation of the feeling hiding within the music.

iTunes Link Artist Page

The Legendary João Gilberto


João Gilberto - The Legendary João Gilberto

Here is something a bit different from the usual indie/ambient fare you have seen around here. A bit of Bossa Nova, nothing new and modern and over produced, a classic release that is stuffed with short songs full of life and a gentle sway and sunny feeling that will leave you with a smile. Its that peaceful feeling that gave me reason enough to want to add it to the site here. While I am no expert and know little about the genera when I heard this album that was passed onto me at some point I couldn’t get enough. There is this perfect balance within this album between a calm peaceful feeling and a happy one that makes you want to dance along to the music. From what I have read about Bossa Nova, the word means ‘new trend’ in Portuguese and João was one of the early artists that drove its popularity. This album is a defining collection of his music and in essence it is a collection of music recorded at the heart of the Bossa Nova movement.

I am happy to add this wonderful album to the archive here on the site but I am sad to say this is no longer in print, not as a CD, LP, or as a digital release. It was released in 1990 and the CD is currently fetching prices of $100+ USD through various sites and ebay which is a high price but honestly, this is a great collection of music and I’m sure the diehard fans of the genera understand its importance as a collection so it goes for these high prices. I would love to say I had a copy of this but I don’t, only in digital form. Im sure if you looked hard enough you could come across it online through ‘backdoors’ but I didn’t just type that. While this is the best I have heard from this artist there are a number of other modern releases available featuring his music that you can find as well. On an interesting side note, I just read the following on his wikipedia page about this release:

“While all of Gilberto's albums since Getz/Gilberto have been released on CD, the first three domestic albums were released in 1988 by EMI on a single CD entitled The Legendary João Gilberto: The Original Bossa Nova Recordings (1958–1961). The disc also included three tracks from the singer's 1959 Orfeu Negro EP: "Manhã de Carnaval," O Nosso Amor, and A Felicidade, the latter two merged into a single medley track to fit within the recording time of a CD. After its release, Gilberto successfully sued to have the title removed from sale as an unauthorized release of his artistic works.”

It’s interesting to hear that they altered the songs for the release and I could see why he would have wanted it to stop production. I have read other places about this release that there were other liberties taken in the remastering of the original songs as well as the new order of the songs which differ from the original LP’s. Note the article goes on to speak of the idea that he is somewhat of a perfectionist as well but honestly, what artist wants his music messed with like that? All the same, the release is a beautiful one and its nice to have these recordings in one place. Maybe one day I will stumble upon the original LP’s in a record shop. I can dream cant I?

Here is one song from the release to give you an idea of what I have been going on about. One of the more upbeat pieces and one of my favorites.



João Gilberto Wiki Page

Elliott Smith


Elliott Smith - Self Titled



Another staple in the realm of quiet music, Elliott Smiths second solo release was a self titled affair and many consider it a favorite. I discovered Elliott though his album XO then moved onto Either/Or followed by this release as well as his first album Roman Candle and the album Mic City Sons, (the last album he released with the band he was part of Heatmiser before taking his solo carrier head on). I think that last sentence made sense. Well, the album is nothing short of brilliant really and belongs in anyones record collection. My personal favorite from this album has always been St. Ides Heaven and I couldn’t tell you why, just one of those songs that has somehow been permanently installed in my mind somehow. Thats not to say the rest of the album is no less embedded there as well.

This album holds the feeling of movement in my mind if that makes sense. Something about them feel perfect for driving on a warm summer night. Hmm, I don’t really feel anything I can say will ever be a proper description of the music you will find here so I will as that you simply check it out for yourself if you have not already discovered his music. I will eventually have a number of his albums listed on these pages and simply wanted to take the chance to add this to the archives here.

iTunes LinkArtist Page

Glider


The Sight Below - Glider

This album appeared recently on one of my favorite electronic music labels and after hearing an EP released before this full length I knew I was hooked. The music is a subtle ambient album which according to the labels site, was performed live for the recording. The music reminds me of flying as the ambient tones glide along the subtle movement of the percussion which does a good job of holding you in and adding to the emotion impact of the music. While it is predominantly electronic in its choices of instrument you will also find guitar drenched in reverb echoing through the sound. I have found this album a perfect nightcap for me recently as it provides a backdrop for hopeful dreams and a peaceful night of sleep although it often makes its way into my headphones when I need a bit of an escape from the day as it does a fine job of slowing the world down to a more manageable pace.

iTunes LinkArtist Page

Extra: Here is a youtube video from the artist as he also does video work for his live performances. The audio quality on the video is lacking and this is just sort of an experiment to see how I feel about posting videos (let me know what you think) on the site but here goes nothing:

The Other Side Is Mud


Corrina Repp - The Other Side Is Mud

I posted about Corrina in the previous post and as I was looking through the label site I found that they have one of her albums available for free or simply any amount of money you would like to donate to get the mp3’s because its physical form is out of print. When I mentioned my long periods of listening to her other album, ‘I Take On Your Days,’ I also discovered this album and often these songs followed the other album in its rotation through my ears. The music on this release holds the same sort of fragile feel as the other release and while personally I prefer the music on ‘I Take On Your Days’ because it is a bit more developed and haunting this album is not one you want to miss either and if you are curious about her style of music this is a great place to start. My favorite song on here is the last track titled ‘They Sang Solo’ which I love and is one of my favorite songs of hers.

Download the album here (I suggest you at least donate a couple of dollars for it as every bit counts and Hush Records is a label well worth supporting.)

I Take On Your Days


Corrina Repp - I Take On Your Days

This is one of my personal classic favorites. One of those albums that got me hooked on the art of the whispering quiet side of music. The songs here are minimal, to the point, and beautiful. The ten songs on this album are all like the lullabies for heartbreak and hope. At one point in my life these songs rang through on repeat endlessly as I worked an early shift at a book store and while sometimes they pushed me dangerously close to falling asleep on the floor, most of the time they just kept me going. This is one of those albums that I treasure and am happy to recommend to others that are not familiar with it. I bought the CD years ago and the artwork is wonderful as the painting on was printed on a letterpress and has that wonderful feeling that only that type of press can give. It is still available with this packaging and I recommend you pick up a physical copy of it if you enjoy the music because its wonderful. This is one not to miss and one of those albums that hardly grow beyond a whisper in your ears.

On a related note, the album was released by Hush Records, one of my favorite labels for this sort of music that I have followed for years and I discovered the label through the Take A Nap music site that inspired You Disappear to become a reality.

iTunes LinkArtist PageLabel Page (where you can buy a physical copy)

And Then Nothing...


Yo La Tengo - And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out

I’ve been revisiting Yo La Tengo recently because I always just sort of passed them off as yet another indie rock group. Then I came across this album and really fell for it. The name of the album is what caught my attention at first. The album is sort of a gently rocking ride as you listen and sway along to the beat of the drums. While most of the music sits there on the calm level of existance there are a couple livlier tracks on here for those of you who may not be expecting to hear such rocking songs around the site. Even these exude some level of calmness though and as a whole its a wonderful trip and fans of the other music on You Disappear should take note if you have not heard the album. I look forward to checking out the rest of their material as time permits.

iTunes LinkArtist Site

Music For Egon Schiele


Rachel’s - Music for Egon Schiele

Rachel’s is a group performing classical inspired music from musicians with more a history in indie rock. At least as far as I know. I don’t know too much about the group other than it centers on three musicians that often spirals outward with other players on their recorded work. This album is over ten years old at this point but in my mind remains as strong and beautiful as when it was released. Originally it was performed life to accompany a theater piece about the painter Egon Schiele but was also recorded and released. The music is simple and hypnotic and performed with piano, Cello, and Violin which all melt together seamlessly into a beautiful landscape of sound. Perfect music to close your eyes and let the sound take your mind visit places hiding inside your imagination. It is a highly visual album in my opinion and leaves you feeling a sort of uplifting calm. Highly recommended... (highly recommended seems to be getting a common phrase around here I think.)

iTunes LinkArtist Page

Ellaborate Devices


Nudge - Elaborate Devices For Filtering Crisis

I Love this album, it’s as simple as that really. The music is ambient music only not as thick with a thousand pounds of reverb. It makes its way through a lot of different ideas with a number of different approaches to a similar concept through the album. It has little touches of a number of influences such as jazz and funk it’s a subtle IDM electronic music album at its heart. Its one of those albums that floats through your mind rather than just sitting there in front of you while you listen. Some live elements like electric bass and drums make their way into the mix but often its full of bleeps and electronic synth like sounds that rest right at home with the live instruments in the recording. Occasionally a female voice sings over the songs which is a great addition and while it only makes its appearance a couple of times it’s somehow just enough. It’s a well balanced album that electronic music lovers would enjoy but is not so overly electronic that fans of more acoustic music could get into it as well.

iTunes LinkArtist Page

Pink Moon


Nick Drake - Pink Moon

How could I have a site based on the calmer side of music and not include this album? It’s interesting to me how a lot of newer calm singer songwriter music that is released is instantly compared to Nick Drake. Especially since he was so underground and did not get the crazy popularity that his music gathered until it was featured in a car ad. All the comparisons do come with fairly good reason as he was writing this sort of gently whispered music long before the current days where pretty much anyone can learn to play guitar and record their own album of these sorts of simplistic songs. I think the thing that made Nick Drake stand out was because his music is very much worthy of such praise. Pink Moon in particular is a simple understated album full of brilliant songs. Brilliant in their simplicity, focus, and honesty. The music on the album is nothing short of a lullaby throughout the album and is an essential album for any fan of this kind of music. If you are among those who have not heard this album then do yourself a favor and have a listen...

iTunes LinkArtist Page (wikipedia entry)

First Recordings


R.L. Burnside - First Recordings

A fan of the blues? Like my opinion of jazz and country and a few other genres I am really specific about what I like in the world of blues. I love old blues recordings, the gritty feel of them add so much to the music and helps you get into the roots of the blues. More modern over produced blues records hardly have any soul to them in my opinion. This record contains early recordings from blues musician R.L. Burnside and its a wonderful collection of sliding guitar, foot stomping blues. While many have a bit higher tempo than other recordings around on this site I still feel it still falls within the bounds of calm music. Listening to it makes me smile and nod my head along but I can’t help but relax while I listen to it. The songs here have soul and feel alive to me. It’s a great blues album with to many great songs to list out here and if you’re a fan of the blues by all means give this a listen its great.

iTunes LinkArtist Page (wikipedia entry)

Heron King Blues


Califone - Heron King Blues

I think I discovered Califone when this album came into rotation at the radio station while I was a DJ there. I was immediately struck with the unique sound of the group and its avant blues that was slow and full of sporadic percussion and sliding guitars plucked and strummed at in a way that flew around as I listened. It was a wonderful departure form other things in this sort of genera. Heron King Blues remains my favorite album from the group as it just feels the most cohesive from start to finish which may be due to its shorter length. I often prefer a solid EP to a full length album because full length can sometimes wear you out. I ended up getting the chance to see them live which was a great performance partially because it was fascinating to see this music played live while retaining the same feeling of the recorded albums. At any rate, this is an album that you should take a moment to listen to or preview because its hard to fully describe without simply listening to it. As I mentioned a bit before, think slow, quiet blues containing a bit of experimentation with percussion, production, and composition. The only thing that may turn some people off is that in a couple of the songs they get a bit on the jamming side of things which in my mind fits well with the aesthetic they have built. Overall I think the point I was trying to make in my rambling is that this album is a unique one that I urge anyone not familiar with the group to give a listen as it’s not every day you find a fresh look on the blues genera.

iTunes Link Artist Page

Haunt Me


Tim Hecker - Haunt Me

This is an ambient release that I came across a few years back and it contains some of my favorite ambient music. While some of this album may be a little on the more experimental side and turn off some listeners, those with some tolerance for the exploration of sound in this type of music will be rewarded with an amazing album of ambient music. The best way I can describe my personal feelings for the music lie in a story I will do my best to keep on the short side... I was in Puerto Rico a few years ago with my family and one of the nights we were there we attended a private party of sorts held inside the rainforest. We were taken to the location by bus in the blanket of night and upon leaving the bus we were given umbrellas if we wanted them because it was raining a little but I chose to go without one. I had put my headphones in on the bus and as we were leaving the bus I decided to put on this album as it was new to me at the time and I was in the mood for something quiet. The first song started to play which is easily my favorite on the album. There is a thick warm ambient tone that put me in a dreamlike state in my mind as I started walking down this rainforest path lit by fire torches along with the others from the bus. The music spun around in my head and the occasional percussive electronic sounds and edits made to the ambient tones added a hint of tension to the feelings it gave me in that moment and made this walk through the rainforest lit by torches this way seem surreal and by the time we reached the point where the party was held I felt as though I was in some sort of strange zen like coma that took a while to wear off... That may have come off a little strange, I’m not sure but it was an experience that always pulls itself back into my mind as I listen to it. The rest of the album is just as rewarding and very much deserves a listen... Visit the artists page link for more information on the artist.

iTunes LinkArtist Page

Empty Sound


A Setting Sun - Empty Sound

The first song on this album is what got me hooked. It’s subtle, slightly uplifting melody paired with a steady beat that makes me smile for some reason. Like the title of the music project the music holds both the warmth of the sun and that calm moment when you suddenly realize its gotten cooler outside. It’s a wonderful start to the release and sets you up to know what to expect for the rest of the album as you listen through it. Cool ambience, the occasional low key beat to keep your body warm with the slight movement it provokes and a touch of other fuzzy percussive sounds that fill in the feeling and bring the production together. Its a wonderful release from a Michigan artist that appears to be new to the scene as far as I can tell with two releases on Moodgadget records. Fans of ambient music take note and keep an eye on this great new artist.

iTunes LinkArtist Site

Seven Swans


Sufjan Stevens - Seven Swans

This is another one of those albums that surely most readers here have discovered simply because Sufjan seems to have gotten so popular over the last couple of years. All the same, this is a beautiful album that needs to be logged into the archive here for those who may have not discovered the gentle songs of this album. I can’t remember the first time finding this album, I think it may have been my brother that said, “hey, you might like this,” and stuck it on my ipod for me. That or a combination of things, anyway, any fan of any music on this blog should not overlook this release. It’s one of those must haves within the world of quiet music. Softly spoken songs of life and love accompanied mostly by guitar and banjo and all with a subtle swing and joy that just feels good to hear.

iTunes LinkArtist Page

Your Favorite Music


Clem Snide - Your Favorite Music

When I first came across this band I can’t remember how I found them but the first song I heard was ‘Your Favorite Music,’ the title track from this album. It’s a beautiful song sung as though the singer is talking to you about your favorite music and how it just makes you sad. I immediately declared it my theme song of sorts and was won over then and there by the clever song writing from this group. The words from the song are as follows:

You favorite music, well it just makes you sad
But you like it, because you feel special that way
You feel special, that your like no one else
But then you’re lonely, and you need someone to help
I can’t teach you, to learn to love yourself
But heres a sad song, that I wrote for no one else.


The rest of the album is full of equally clever songwriting and has an overall slow pace that is broken a couple of the times with more upbeat songs. Mostly though it’s a great album to relax to that wont leave you so much on the sleepy side of things. The music is a sort of indie rock sound with a touch of an alt-country feel to it that I really love. I would say at least treat yourself to the title track and my other favorite ‘Bread.’ Recently I have been listening to a number of their albums which I have all enjoyed as much or more than this one but I thought I would post about this first since its what brought me to like the band as much as I do.

As far as I have read they are no longer together making music which is unfortunate but understandable after also reading that they also had a number of ups and downs and a revolving cast of musicians. The singer has released an album on his own that I have not checked out yet but I would like to.

iTunes LinkArtist Page

Either/Or


Elliott Smith - Either/Or

Of all the albums I have owned and listened to over the years the late Elliott Smith’s ‘Either/Or’ has remained at the top of my list. It fell into my ears during a time when I was just starting to explore the depths of what music had to offer me in my life. Music that had a comfortable resting place under the radar, hiding behind the pop music storm cloud that seemed so dominant in the music world. Either/Or was a stepping stone that taught me to appreciate the simpler side of music. It helped me see that you did not have to have a well produced, clean sounding record to be something incredible. The quiet, subtle presence of the music and its modest production value filled my mind with a feeling that I didn’t realize music was capable of giving me. All in all, this album and a handful of others that I discovered in that time period gave birth to my love for the calmer side of music. It’s one of those albums that I have love as much now as the first day I heard it and it’s magic has not eroded with time.

It’s an album that is no secret small release by any means and I felt posting it here is simply the only proper way to start this site off. If you have not heard this album then you owe it to yourself to at least listen to it once. While it may not have the profound effect it had on my own music life surely it will at least leave you with calm mind if you let it.

iTunes linkArtist Website

Waters Edge


Susumu Yokota & Rothko - Water's Edge

This seems to be an often overlooked EP that I came across a couple years ago. Perhaps it was overshadowed by their full length album, I’m not sure. These are two amazing artists in their own right and they have come together on this EP to create something really wonderful. Waters Edge is a wonderful ambient record that gives much more than your typical ambient affair tends to give. Blending haunting guitar melodies, fitting sampled recordings (field recordings), a number of percussive elements that blend right into the distant electronic ambience that is a bed for all of these other elements to rest on. As short as the overall experience may be at around 20 minutes, it certainly does a great job of calming your mind. The perfect album for a restless night or for any moments where you need something to help put your mind at ease.

iTunes Link (Note: the link will point you to a compilation from the label that released the EP, Lo Records, that contains the first song from the EP. As far as I know the EP was only released on Vinyl which I recommend highly if you can find a copy of it.)• Susumu Yakota Artist PageRothko Artist Page

Moth


Mick turner - Moth

Mick Turner is a guitarist best known for his work with the group Dirty Three and his numerous other collaborations with the likes of Bonnie Prince Billy and Cat Power. He is also a painter and has done the cover art for many of his projects. My favorite work of his comes in the form of his solo project released under his own name, more specifically, the album called simply ‘Moth’. The music here is a collection of short guitar songs all strung together to work as a whole. Some are a bit more rambling and short than others but all of them hold a place of their own among the record as a whole. Other instruments sneak in there from time to time but for the most part it is the echoing calm of the guitar that holds your attention. The songs radiate a peaceful existence and beg your mind to relax. One of my favorite discoveries of the year, you owe it to yourself to pick this one up. It will leave your mind refreshed and ready to live.

iTunes LinkArtist Page

Field Rituals


Koen Holtkamp - Field Rituals

I’m sure ambient music will be no stranger to youdissapear as a lot of the music in the genera fits right in with the music I feature on the site. While some ambient albums are boring and simply drone on and on there are many albums in the genera that hold a lot of feeling within the slow hum of the music. Often it blends into your life and seamlessly lays with whatever it is you’re doing. It summons a unique kind of calm because it often does not contain words to distract your mind leaving it to wander freely as the music washes over you.

This album is a newer release as of the time I’m writing this and was released by the wonderful label Type Records which has a huge amount of music that I would like to feature here on the site as time permits. The album is ambient at its heart and drifts around like an ocean blending a surprising amount of different sources for its overall sound and aesthetic. It takes the classic sound of electronic ambient music and blends it seamlessly with echoing acoustic instruments and, my favorite element of the songs on this album, field recordings that put you in a totally different environment as you listen which I think is wonderful. I used to record and release soundscape recordings on my older site via a podcast and I love it when an artist is able to seamlessly blend field recordings in with music. It gives it a feeling that feels like you are watching a movie without dialogue and the soundtrack sort of drifts in over the sounds of the imaginary space in your mind. Its beautiful really. The finest example of this is can be found on the track ‘Walker’ which happens to also be my favorite from the album.

iTunes LinkArtist Page

Corduroy Road


Goldmund - Corduroy Road

The music of Kenniff keithkenniff will frequent the pages of this site I’m sure as he has released a number of amazing albums through the years that all fall well within the sonic boundaries of youdissapear.net. Goldmund is his solo piano project which he has released three albums of which this was his first using this name. The music is lighthearted and heartbreaking all at once, the music he has captured here with the piano is a perfect example of why I love the instrument so much. It just has so much life in each note and you can so easily feel from the music it creates for whatever reason. This album and the others in this project which I will post about in the future have a very simple approach and while you will hear the occasional other instrument or sound in the recordings its heart is in the piano strings and you will glide along with each note as it reaches your ears. The perfect music for a dimly lit room and whispered secrets...

iTunes LinkArtist Page

Diaro


Daisuke Miyatani - Diaro

I wrote about this album a while ago on my other site fiftyfootshadows. In fact, after reading what I wrote about it then I’m not sure I can word it much better than that so I will simply lift part of what I write then:

“It is one of the most subtle things I have heard in a long time and the more I listen to it the more it fades into me in some way that I cant explain. Full of lo-fi sampling and loose, quiet plucked guitars. At times songs will trail off and disappear suddenly which I didn’t really like at first but the more I listen the more I like these sudden endings on a few of the songs, it helps bring you back to the present after getting lost in the song.”

Thats how I still feel about the album, its magic. The music sort of blends into your surroundings and adds this light touch of peacefulness to your mind as you are listening to it. The best “folktronica” album I’ve heard, well my personal favorite at least. If anything you should at least treat yourself to the song ‘Hum’. It is a more ambient track but its just beautiful. I would suggest going outside somewhere the first time you hear it, go on a walk or just go sit on a bench somewhere and put it on, let it soak into you and when it ends see where it leaves your mind...

iTunes LinkArtist Site

Home


Peter Broderick - Home

An album I came across recently that I have really enjoyed. While its not music that will put you to sleep it is a gentle collection of songs that leaves you feeling good despite its sometimes melancholy lyrics. Reminiscent of other recent acoustic indie rock/folk artists such as Jose Gonzolez and Gravenhurst the music is light and swirling and may best fit an afternoon in the sun. One of my favorites on here, ‘And it’s All Right’ starts simply and slowly builds layer by layer into a thick declaration of hope that breaks off suddenly leaving you feeling like you were floating. Much of the album carries wonderful moments like this with memorable, catchy melodies and layered vocals that will leave you wanting to leave this one on repeat. This album also contains one of my favorite songs of 2008 a vague story of falling called ‘Below It’.

iTunes LinkArtist Site

A Hundred Times or More


Phosphorescent - A Hundred Times or More

A friend turned me onto this years ago and I listened to it endlessly for a while. The group is lead by Matthew Houck’s soft, breaking vocals which set the mood for the whole album and not unlike the old scratched, slightly strange yet peaceful album cover the music is slightly broken, slow and nostalgic. After seeing him live a couple of times and hearing this album so many times I always look forward to new releases from him. The music is fragile but thick and grips you in a unique way and while his singing style may not suit everyone I find it to be honest and steady despite it’s cracking and thin moments. What I was trying to say was that his weak moments singing are actually his strong ones. As for the music itself, it rocks back and forth like a small boat in the sea and calls out for attention at a handful of moments in the record when the music all start to build and build till they break into a haunting crescendo that leaves the hair on the back of my neck on end at times. I suppose I will stop trying to describe it and simply urge you to listen for yourself. My favorite songs on the album have always been the opening track, Salt & Blues and the song Remain and may be a good starting point should you decide to listen.

iTunes LinkArtist LinkDaytrotter live session

Heart & Crime


Julie Doiron - Heart & Crime

This is music for a cold, dark night at home with a fire in a fireplace and a blanket to keep you warm. I’m not sure how I came across her work, I think it may have been another discovery while working at the radio station but I am happy that I did. I love the songs on this record that seem to glow with warmth and a calm that is all to familiar and comforting for my ears and Im not sure why. I think thats about all there is to say here but don’t let the short post throw you, this is a beautiful album and comes highly recommended.

iTunes LinkArtist Page

For Emma, Forever Ago


Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago

This is an album for winter. I can’t fully explain why that is but its true. Perhaps its because it was written and recorded in the winter months or because the music itself just feels like it should be played on a cold night. The music on this album is simply incredible to say the least. It introduces a fresh take on this sort of simple singer songwriter album and I feel it could easily be listed among my top albums ever recorded. It has the ability to make you feel uplifted somehow as though the music has wings. Littered with a warm ambience and a tendency to push and explore the idea of the traditional approach of a singer and his guitar. The standout track that got me hooked on this brilliant album was one of the more straightforward, heartfelt songs on the album, ‘Skinny Love’. The lyrics on the album feel familiar yet somehow cryptic enough to leave you wondering if you understand what it is he is singing about. All in all do yourself a favor and don’t overlook this one. It’s worth ever minute of your life it will take form you as you listen.

iTunes LinkArtist Site

New England


Jason Anderson - New England

Jason Anderson is known for his live performances and the way he manages to get the whole room singing along excited and happy to be alive. His music falls somewhere between outright rock tracks to calm acoustic numbers but all of which are stories of nights, love, and living life to its fullest and its wonderful. This album, in my mind, is his definitive work. The album that set him up for all the great work he has done since and one of his most focused sounding recording. The songs are full of life and observations from within it and while 90 percent of the album is somewhat low key with acoustic guitars and piano there are moments where it builds up to something a bit more rock than many things you will find on the site but I can’t help but feature his music because it has this ability to make you feel good about life both in the good things and the subtleties of the bad ones as well. Simply a brilliant album in my opinion, one that has been played a hundred times over and still has plenty of life left to give.

iTunes LinkArtist Page

Alina


Arvo Part - Alina

As far as instruments go, the piano is simply a favorite of mine. There is something about the voice inside a big grand piano that feels so alive. It’s an instrument that often needs no other to accompany it because of its strength and ability to hold so much emotion within each note but still contains enough space within its sound that vocals or other instruments can co exist with it beautifully when done well. This album holds true for both of these reasonings. It is easily one of the most sparse records I have ever heard and is almost like a soundtrack to silence in my mind. With the first notes stuck you are somehow sucked into its simplicity and its hard not to imagine the world around you slow down as you listen. A beautiful record for any given moment in your life where you need some sort of audible delicate touch.

Also, for further explanation of the music here I will refer you to this text from the amazon page which is a straightforward explanation of the music’s more technical side: “This is a remarkable release, both for its beauty and its novelty at programming. Für Alina is a two-minute solo piano piece composed by Pärt in l976 that ushered in his "tintinnabuli" style, that is, the bell-like, simple, no-notes-wasted method for which he has become beloved and famous. On this CD, pianist Alexander Malter plays it twice, as the second and fourth tracks; each iteration takes almost 11 minutes (Pärt assumed it would be embellished, and he chose this pair for the CD). There are minute variations in tempo, emphasis, and rubato from one to the other, but, all that being said, it amounts to 22 minutes of the most beautiful, contemplative music ever performed. Almost equally gentle is Spiegel im Spiegel, played as tracks 1, 3 and 5 and scored for piano and, respectively, violin, cello, and then violin again. The instruments mirror one another (Spiegel is German for mirror), with notes added to the scale with each repetition, and so on. Almost impossible to describe in its loveliness, each of the three sets is beautiful; the cello in track 3 gives it extra mellowness. This is music staggering in its simple complexity and a treat for the ear and heart. --Robert Levine

iTunes Link Artist Site (in this case its a wikipedia link)

The Sea & The Rhythm


Iron & Wine - The Sea & The Rhythm

I was lucky enough to host a local radio show at a college nearby for a couple of years and I still hold to the experience as one of those life changing things that only come along ever so often. It lead me to discover countless new musicians and gave me a chance to break into a number of other things that I now take for granted in life. Among the music I happened across in my time in the ‘new music’ show where I played music primarily from new albums in rotation at the station I discovered a short EP from Iron and Wine and played the track from this, The Sea and The Rhythm. I was quickly taken by the music as it drifted along barely raising to the point of a whisper in the studio. At the time this EP was his second release and I immediately went to pick it up and the local record shop. My roommate at the time tried to convince me it was christian music because of the name of the group which maybe I’m remembering wrong somehow but I thought it was funny at the time. The album went on to become one of my very favorites to this day. As the title suggests, its the perfect music for a day spent near an ocean, especially a rainy one as I later discovered.

iTunes LinkArtist Site

Get Lonely


The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely

This album certainly has a story like feel about it. I love the way that it straddles a depressing feeling and an uplifting one. A strange mix of feelings that come across in a straightforward way because of the very direct approach to its songwriting if that makes sense. I first heard these songs when I saw him perform live at one of the quietest shows I have ever witnessed. Live he sang the words with a whisper to the audience, not even a whisper, quieter than that. It was as if the words being sung were simply floating off of his breath in a fascinating way. Sure, you could barely hear it but it certainly was memorable. Back to the album, the songs here are about loss, awakening, and the discovery that can be found at the end of a relationship. In my opinion it’s his best album and while many fans of The Mountain Goats may disagree I feel it’s his strongest moment as a songwriter. Its focused, to the point and above all, absolutely beautiful. Easily one of my favorite albums. Start with the song, Woke Up New, its perfect.

Another take on the album is here in the pitchfork review, the opening lines were:

“I introduced myself to John Darnielle after his performance at this summer's Pitchfork Music Festival, and this conversation happened:

Darnielle: Have you heard the new album?
Me: Yeah, I just got it.
Darnielle: What do you think?
Me: I've only heard it a couple of times; I'm still processing.
Darnielle: Do you have a girlfriend?
Me: Yeah, she's right over...
Darnielle: I hope she leaves you. Then you'll understand it.

He was joking. I think.” -from the pitchfork review


iTunes LinkArtist Site

Pyramid Electric Co.


Jason Molina - Pyramid Electric Co.

As I mentioned on my previous post, I discovered a number of great new music during my time as a DJ a local college station, WUAG to be exact. This is another discovery from that time, I picked up the yellow cardboard sleeve that the CD was in and read the short description on the back written by a fellow DJ as a review for others playing the music. I remember something along the lines of the recording was so clear and natural that you could hear the sound of the piano’s foot pedals as he played if you listen closely enough. This turned out to be quite true, the recording is very minimal and stripped down to its basics and I have a feeling these songs were recorded without overdubbing of any kind. While this does not hold quite the same the lo-fi aesthetic that other recordings I have mentioned up to now have it holds something unique in my mind in the way it was recorded. The recording itself feels transparent in a way which lets you feel that much closer to the music recorded. Jason’s voice rings out inside the room along with the guitar or piano, depending on the song, and you could close your eyes and get lost in the recording.

I love quiet albums such as this that allow you to feel somehow connected to the music in your own personal way like the music recorded exists only for you. It’s an idea sung about in a song that I’m sure I will write about here eventually by Clem Snide called Your Favorite Music, only in a lightly sarcastic way. Im getting off track here...

This album has been put on more times than I can remember and I love it for its ability to hold your attention so well while remaining so minimal in its approach. The lyrics are wonderfully written and performed and overall I cannot recommend this enough, as with most of the music I talk about here I suppose. I prefer hearing this on vinyl for some reason, something about the feeling of closing your eyes at home and hearing it crackle through makes it all the more warm and correct me if im wrong but I think this was released physically as a vinyl release that included a CD as well as a digital release. Sorry, this one ended up being a bit on the rambling side, close your eyes and enjoy.

iTunes LinkArtist link (also his full band project here)