The Underground: Some Ambulance – Talvihorros

Welcome to The Underground (or Notes from the Underground if you’re a Dostoyevsky nerd), a weekly segment in which I examine the very best in unsigned, undiscovered and underground music. It’s my goal to highlight and hopefully promote talented artists who have yet to receive the attention they deserve. If you know of (or are!) a band/artist you think should be featured on The Underground, please give them a shout out in the comments below, or alternatively you can tweet me their info @AnOrangeFellow.

The ability to craft a landscape of sound is an overlooked one, I feel. You have to rest on the line just between ambient and the “post-” genre, making sure your music adapts and stays interesting but never really evolves. The aim being to create music that creates a mental picture of place, or fills the room. It’s difficult without being showy, and a style that I find a humble exercise in craftsmanship.

Some Ambulance is this style of music done correctly, subtly taking the listener from one place to another, instilling itself with the greatest atmosphere that changes ever so slowly and ever so effectively. In many cases, such as the albums second track, “Etude IV”, this happens via attrition, making incredible use of the most basic of outlines. Beginning with a simple, high-pitched three-note melody, Talvihorros carefully begins to add to the music, as strings, further percussion and bells are piled on top of the song. The effect is music that creeps up on you so slowly that it’s hard to tell exactly when it overpowers you; but it does. This style also works with songs such as “Death of Dream”, which begins fairly loud and overbearing as it is, and only increases in both volume and desperation. It paints a beautiful image, and despite it’s loudness, is delicately put together and works in the context of the album.

It all seems very Phillip Glass – though obviously on a much smaller, more manageable scale. Other influences also shine through, with elements of Godspeed sneaking in in the slightest of ways, to a song which surprisingly initially sounds like it was lovingly inspired by the bells from Kid A. Some Ambulance uses its influences as building blocks, but still very much remains its own beast, going in its own direction at it’s own pretty, captivating pace.

With Some Ambulance, Talvihorros has demonstrated a great understanding of composition in a style of music usually not recognised for it. Throughout it’s runtime, the album remains engaging, atmospheric and well worth listening to. Let this album fill the room like a thick, cool smoke, and breathe in.

You can listen to and purchase (for only five pounds!) Some Ambulance here.

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