After three full length albums as North Atlantic Drift, the Canadian duo of Mike Abercrombie and Brad Deschamps have decided to take a slightly different direction for their project with Visitor. Anyone who was enamored of their glacial sound that split the difference between atmospheric ambient and restrained post rock need not worry. Yes, the clean guitars, and shimmering glockenspiel have given way to a hazier synth-driven composite with a more matted finish, but the elegant melodicism and patient narrative flow still feels familiar and that is a good thing.
Abercrombie and Deschamps ease us into the change with the opener ‘Recluse’ which bridges nicely to what has been their trademark sound before shedding some of the shiny outer layers and devolving into something more abstract and sepia-toned. As we progress through ‘4th of July’, ‘Everest’, and ‘Meridian’, the feeling is more introspective than expansive, with gentle oscillations and nice crackling textures.
‘Decay’, the track premiered here, places us at what may be the apogee of the new trajectory with its focus on synthesizer tones released in waves to expand until they almost lose cohesion and dissolve. The sumptuous title track and the closer ‘Slow City’, however, reset the compass and bring us back to more familiar melodic surroundings making for a satisfying arc.
Visitor was mastered by Sean McCann who also mastered repose by anthéne, a solo project of Brad Deschamps (reviewed here) and whose own Ten Impressions for Piano and Strings was featured as a memorable journey in the 2015 modern classical year in review. The album will be available in a limited run of 100 CD’s in a hand-numbered cardstock booklet with a stamped envelope. Follow the link below for more information and to pre-order.
Pre-order Visitor: https://polarseasrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/visitor
- 4th of July
- Decay (listen here to the exclusive premiere)
- Slow City