Kevin Verwijmeren‘s music conveys a depth of emotion and refinement that seems to contradict his bio which tells us that he is a physics student in his mid-twenties who only got serious about developing music in the last few years. Is it the haunting, world-weary melancholy? The exceptionally rich timbres balanced with delicate shadings of tonal color? Or something else that can’t quite be articulated? In any case, I find his well-crafted ambient narratives to be utterly captivating and none more so than his second full-length album Those Glorious Heights soon to be released by Belgian duo label Icarus Records/Vynilla Vinyl.
On his 2014 debut It’s The Colour Of A Cloud Covered Sky, the artist took us on an introspective journey as he captured the essence of his long commutes through remote and urban landscapes – a sonic portrait of an inner state with an outward focus. Likewise, the mood of Those Glorious Heights is quite introspective, but the focus here seems inwards as well and perhaps a bit more personal. The sound is more of an evolution than a departure, but it resonates with more emotional intensity and a sharper edge.
As before, the music again flows seamlessly from start to finish so that the album works as more of a single long form piece with the track titles acting as sign posts along the way marking shifts in tone and mood. The experience is immersive right from the opening as the heavily atmospheric “Last” spins its copiously layered web. As we progress toward the midpoint, we get a sense of descending through deeper layers of emotion until we reach the wailing, distortion-laden drones of “I’ll Draw You a Mountain” and the discordant “We Believe”. But, all this tension is discharged in the redemptive beauty of “The Light Is Coming” and the contemplative final coda “Keep Me Up At Night”. Verwijmeren has done some really beautiful work here and created another truly memorable and absorbing journey.
Those Glorious Heights features artwork by Jan van der Kleijn and was mastered by Stephan Mathieu (Schwebung Mastering). It is being released on standard black vinyl and in a beautiful smoky blue limited edition. The first 25 orders will also receive a foldout with additional artwork.
Listen: Live Session of Kevin’s music including a short interview: