Friday, March 11, 2011

Towards the Sun

Alexi Murdoch
Towards the Sun

2011 is proving itself to be quite the year for high quality music. We’re only one quarter of the way into the year and I have at least three albums vying for “album of the year” already. This album by Alexi Murdoch is one of those. Towards the Sun is Murdoch’s first release since 2006’s Time Without Consequence. Although it’s been five years, the albums sound like they could be twins. Murdoch’s creamy voice is unchanged and his rich, simple orchestration continues. The lyrics are thoughtful and deep. It makes you wonder why it took so long. The album can be described in one word: warm. If you have the luxury of a few more words, “beautiful,” “honest,” “intimate” come to mind. Everything about it is warm, from the vocals, to the mixing and balance, to the lyrics. For most of the album, it seems to be Murdoch’s voice and his guitar, but at no point does it sound sparse or empty. The whole of the production makes it clear that this quality of music-making comes naturally, but not easily to Murdoch, making it all the more precious. It’s like a blanket for your soul. Murdoch's music is the sort you're likely to hear in the background of some show like Grey's Anatomy, or One Tree Hill, but if you're a purist, don't let that dissuade you from investigating this artist. It's downright great music. Pure and unadulterated by commercial influence. Although just released this week, there's a sense of timelessness when you listen to it -- like you've uncovered/rediscovered some great treasure in your grandparent's attic. Some may say the album is monotonous, but it’s the good kind of monotony … like the ocean is monotonous. My only problem is it’s only seven songs long; but even that length might be just perfect, keeping the whole on the beautiful side of monotony instead of the exhausting. Whatever the length, I love Alexi’s music and I love this album.

Music to … exist … by.

For fans of: Nick Drake, The Civil Wars, Ari Hest, James Taylor

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