Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sandpaintings Review

As futile as the question may be, I always find it interesting to ask somebody why they listen to the music they do. Whether it is just for fun, relaxation, motivation, or even therapy, everybody has their own reasons for what they enjoy. The reasons for me are as diverse as anybody's - it's all entirely dependent on the mood I'm in and the music that comes along with it. Angry? A little Alkaline Trio goes a long way. Happy? Why not some Bomb The Music Industry! to accentuate it? As of recently I've come to discover that at night, when the sounds of the world flush themselves out and all that can be heard is the call of a train in the distance or crickets on the windowsill, the soft, flowing sounds of Stag Hare's Sandpaintings are exactly what I crave. The atmosphere that Garrick Biggs' creates with his plethora of sounds and instruments contains the slow, tender feel of a warm summer night, watching as the stars shine impeded only by lonely clouds passing by. His simplistic methods of crafting music through synth, subtle chimes and drum pats is impressive in the ways that it captures the ear so easily, while still being relatively stripped down in its presentation. It's this straightforward, yet still technically impressive methodology that helps Biggs' sophomore effort excel at not only providing a superbly relaxing experience, but also proving that it doesn't take a mass of substance to help an album devoid of lyrics be capturing in its own right.

The slow, creeping start to the first of two tracks on Sandpaintings, "Holy Person", contains the general feel of what's to come for the rest of the album. When described in simple terms, the entirety of the two tracks sounds nothing short of boring; but under certain circumstances it can really grasp you. Soft picks of a guitar and the gentle patting of bongos over the rising and falling hum in the background is all that is needed to keep the song flowing like a calm stream moving almost silently behind whistling grass. The same goes for track two, "Holy Wind", which utilizes the same tiny variations to attempt to capture the same peacefulness that Biggs is so talented at creating. For what it's trying to be, Sandpaintings excels in nearly every aspect. Biggs isn't trying to become the next superstar flooding the radios; he simply wants to create the music he is passionate about. Isn't that what we all want from an artist, anyway? We all have our own reasons for listening to what fits us, and when we hear somebody who is passionate about it, we cling to it like fresh dew on the morning grass. Lay back and allow Sandpaintings to flow over you, and perhaps you'll feel what Biggs did while creating it.

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