Been over a week since I last blogged, been dealing with Uni work at the moment. Should be getting back on track now. This is going to be another Discovery of Music blog post, this time about one of my all time favourite ambient/post-rock bands. Hammock.
Album: Raising Your Voice…Trying To Stop An Echo
It was a tricky choice choosing my favourite album. I was torn between two albums, and funnily enough my favourite songs are from both albums as well, so I was torn between the two for them also. But I think I made the right choice when I decided to go with “Raising Your Voice…Trying To Stop An Echo”. The album is a very ambient based album, more ambient than their other albums, but it has that post-rock flare in it. The lead guitars with tons of reverb is such an effective tool for this kind of music. One of the main things I love about this album is its use of panning. The way I prefer to mix music is to not have it so that the band or artist is in front of you and you’re listening to them. Instead, I like the listener to feel like they are PART of the music. Hammock do just that. It’s so easy to close your eyes and lose yourself in this album. The panning helps so much with that, having the stereo field very wide and having guitars and synths flying all around you. Best examples of the more obvious panning is in songs like “When the Sky Pours Down Like A Fountain” and “God Sends Us A Signal”.
Another comment about Hammock is their name choices of songs. They are such metaphorical genius’. Titles like “Startle The Heavens”, “When The Sky Pours Down Like A Fountain”, “Sparkle and Fade”, “Chorus of Trees”, such creative names and they sum up the songs SO well. My favourite song on this album is easily “I Can Almost See You”, I have to mention this as although it isn’t my all time favourite it, is a favourite. It uses such a typical chord structure to hook you in but with this it builds up so well. And when the piano comes in..man I lose it a bit..such a beautiful melody. The vocals smooth in so nicely, and again with that panning, they do it so well with the overdubs. DEFINITLEY worth a listen, and it’s great to put on in the background when doing work or playing a game.
Spotify Link: Hammock – Raising Your Voice…Trying to Stop an Echo
Song: Ten Thousand Years Won’t Save Your Life
“Ten Thousand Years Won’t Save Your Life ” is a more post-rock/ambient song, and the album it’s on is definitely a more post-rock album. This song is quite commonly on the top of my ambient playlists and song queues. I’m a sucker for songs that build up so well to the drums in a progressive manner….and no dubstep is NOT an example of that even though it can be easily compared, but that’s a blog for another time. I’m also a sucker for songs with big string orchestra sounds, and with the way the song closes with the expression on the violins and violas, I again so easily lose myself to this music. I love how open the song is to interpretation as well. Emma and I had a discussion about what the meaning could be about this song. I liked Emma’s interpretation of how people are so keen to live forever, but is that really living? Surely it would be better to live 100 years and be happy with just those years than keep on living life over and over again? But that’s a VERY big question. But back to the song, I feel that that is what this song is trying to say with the lyrics, which are quite hard to understand so I’ll post the lyrics at the end of this blog, and overall progression of the song. The way the song moves with the slow build up to the drums, guitars, synths and vocals, and then slowly finishing with the sweet slow strings at the end. It seems that this song could be an interpretation of life itself. Or what life has the potential to be…..I’m digging in too deep here, but that’s what I find good ambient music like Hammock can do. It leaves you to interpret what YOU want the song to be, with no obvious hooks or lyrics to try and persuade you a meaning. The meaning is more open.
So with that in mind I hope you go away with a new way of thinking about ambient music. What I would love is that if anyone makes it all the way to the end of this blog….or reads it at all… you go away and listen “Ten Thousand Years Won’t Save Your Life” and then comment on what YOU think the meaning could be. Did this song touch your soul like it has mine and have an interpreted meaning of the song, or do you think “ambient music is boring, why does this guy keep going on about it, why can’t he talk more about Bon Jovi?”. Anyway, I look forward to hearing your comments.
“It takes so long for you to realise,
ten thousand years won’t save your life.”
Spotify Link: Hammock – Ten Thousand Years Won’t Save Your Life