[Download only from band website - Release date: 12.09.14]
There are certain bands and artists, aren’t there, to whom you turn to capture your prevailing mood?
One brings to mind Buddy Guy for blues, Zeppelin or AC/DC if you want to rock out, Pink Floyd if you’re feeling intellectually progressive (?).
Now add to this illustrious list, if your prevailing disposition is one of blissful, laid back euphoria, the masters of progressive, cinematic melancholia, Frequency Drift.
Their name says it all really – taking the listener drifting via their ambient grooves to a lazy summer’s day way back in the subconscious.
I’ve had the pleasure to review three of the band’s previous offerings and they’ve just got better and better as time has passed – and ‘Summer’ is a worthy addition to their canon.
Released only as a download from the band’s website (http://www.frequencydrift.com), ‘Summer’ is a collection of tracks that, for one reason or another, never made it onto previous albums.
This is not to say that they are inferior in any way to tracks that did make it onto those albums, but rather those that missed out due to time constraints, conceptual issues or were incomplete at the time.
The band considered them too good to remain unfinished on a discarded computer and, with the exception of ‘Summer’s End’ (entirely written for this project), have enhanced, altered and generally dusted down the tracks for this ‘between albums’ release.
So five tracks have got ‘the treatment’ with one new song tagged on and rather fine they are too – being a perfect fit into FD’s exceptional body of work.
From the dreamy cello/keyboard introduction of the 12 minute opening title track to the Julianne Regan/All About Eve coda of the appositely named closer ‘Summer’s End’ the band provide the metaphorical vessel for the listener to drift off to another place.
Highlights include the superb layered guitars of ‘Distant’, the pastoral piano figure and Focus/Sylvia guitar riff of ‘Siren’ and the wonderful combination of electric harp and cello on the standout ‘Ringshining’.
And with the graceful tones of vocalist Isa Fallenbacher weaving their way in and out of all this loveliness, they simply couldn’t fail.
For an album that’s been stitched together with disparate tracks it feels wonderfully cohesive and has that elusive quality (particularly in these days of a throw-away music culture) of exhorting the listener to give free-rein to their imagination.
Positively life-affirming. *****
Review by Alan Jones
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