Gray Acres – ‘Gray Acres’

The duo of brothers Andrew and Michael Tasselmyer present their new music project, Gray Acres, with a stunning self-titled debut album. Known for their existing works in the highly successful Hotel Neon and The Sound of Rescue, the two brothers from Philadelphia, USA, deliver a rustic take on ambient music, blending acoustic, organic sounds and environmental recordings with their well-established synthesized soundscapes. The immersive nature found in the Tasselmyer’s other projects is not lost, and the album begins with the trademark depth and attention to detail and nuance with ‘Sightlines’. ‘Return To Self’ follows with a more subdued take, exploring elements of Minimalism and repetition that draws further attention to the subtle variations that emerge from the backdrop of field recordings and slowly progressing drones, drawing a likeness to Hammock’s ‘Sleepover Series’, or the sparsity of Eno’s fragmented piano on ‘Lux’ (2012).

The album’s intimate listening experience if further enhanced by slight tinges of low-fidelty achieved through the clever processing of near-radiophonic natural soundscapes. Influences of Andy Othling’s reverberant guitar playing as heard in his work under Lowercase Noises cannot be denied; and comparisons to the reductionalist droning by the likes of Hakobune and Chihei Hatakeyama become apparent in the album’s third track, ‘The Maps They Held’. As the album progresses, less attention is paid to melody, and evolving textures of looped guitar drones take over to create a restful sense of calm. The closing track on the album, ‘A Beauty Not Theirs’ brings wider tonal variety in the form of warped field recordings, gently driven guitars, and underlying drones. Making way, a softly played, sustained piano unfolds drawing a likeness to Simeon Walker, Dustin O’Halloran, and Tim Linghaus. Everything else fades, leaving the fluttering chords of a mournful piano to conclude a beautiful debut.

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‘Gray Acres’ was released earlier in February of this year on Athens-based label, Sound in Silence Records, and is available as a limited edition CDr and a further limited Deluexe edition CDr.

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