(2010, Temporary Residence)
RIYL = Red House Painters, Stars of the Lid, Idaho
The work of Matthew Robert Cooper, AKA Eluvium, has always registered with me as some of the most accessible and in many instances the most successful in the world ambient drone. However, in the wake of Eluvium’s last full length, Copia, it was definitely time to inject something new into the formula. So, the addition of lyricism to Mr. Cooper sound was a welcome one. Something to bridge the gap even further between pop music and instrumental drones. And, thankfully, Cooper has managed the new transformation quite wonderfully. In fact, at the rate Simile has been growing on me, it may stand as the next best record to his masterpiece, Talk Amongst the Trees. Cooper even makes a nod to that album in the opening lines to his first song, using that album's title in his lyrics. That being said, lyrics aren’t really Cooper’s strong point. But that isn’t the point. Cooper’s vocals sit more as an additional instrument in these compositions, as an added human comfort. That is probably one of the best ways to describe this album provides: comfortable. And not in a bad way comfortable. Cooper obviously isn’t fully comfortable with his new format himself, but the inviting, marinating tone that he has created on Simile is the kind that you want to go to sleep with at night and to wake up with in the morning. It’s a tone that all his best musical moments are marked by and the addition of lyrics really sets it off to a new level. Interspersed with few small piano-laden interludes, Simile inhabits the dreamy area between abstract drone and 90's slow-core. Really, it's one of the best things I have listened to this year. It’s a grower for sure, and it's worth every spin.
An absolutely beautiful and fitting video:
Oh, and I couldn't resist this Four Tet remix: