By: Inna Nemchenko
The Bird's Companion | website | facebook | twitter | bandcamp | soundcloud |
Released on May 13, 2016 via
The Bird’s Companion moniker hides Casey van Wensem, Canadian musician, audio engineer and writer. His first EP, After the Fire was released in 2015, and earned him comparisons to contemporaries like Nils Frahm, HelkAa, and Lowercase Noises. He followed up this release in 2016 with another EP, Still Life. This album finds van Wensem alone at the piano, layering tracks on top of each other and it seems catching the tiny movements of surrounding nature.
The album raises different associations like the feeling of tranquillity, still life paintings and all these are applicable. The “Twelve Sunflowers” welcome you with exceptionally soft sound raising the mood of nature stillness which is in reality an illusion coming from the fact the nature does change, but too slowly for us to keep attention on for so long.
Opposite to previous and opposite to its own title, “Negative Space” is dynamic and hope sounding theme where Van Wensem puts the idea of ‘in the sense of continuing on, even in the face of difficulty or despair’. Unlike what you might think from description “Negative Space” is not trivially pathetic or tears shedding. Might be guitar arrangement to make the melody sweeter, but happily this is much more of modern contemporary than young garage post-rock sense.
Fairytale-kind, “Impressions”, is sort of music box for adults. It has northern spirit comparable with Frahm or Arnalds, but very light and almost weightless emotional burden, and smoothly flows into “Watercolor Waterfalls” like the dawn gets into midday. So that’s simply the daily dose of cozy state and warmth one needs at least once a day.
The Bird’s Companion mentioned “Still Life” as ‘recorded as quietly as possible, but meant to be listened to at full volume’. The EP comes beautifully composed, mildly touching and unstoppably placid provoking to replay.