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Brannan Lane — The Sleep Album
(Bandcamp Wayfarer Records, 2024, CD / DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2024-04-02

The Sleep Album Cover art

Around 22 years ago, Texas based ambient sonic sculptor Brannan Lane released his fourth album, titled Sleep Cycle; with it he attempted to project the different stages of sleep onto musical textures and gentle melodic forms, which — although based on somewhat technical concepts — did an outstanding job of relaying the subject matter and did provide an excellent vehicle for slumber. Now all these many years later (and dozens of recordings in between), Lane returns with a new but very different album, The Sleep Album, that sheds a lot of the technical aspects of the sleep cycle and simply provides some good old fashioned floating ambient sounds that calm the nerves and soothe the spirit, while traveling down that eternal spiral that ends up in that place of dreams. As one might expect, Lane’s approach is masterful, using synthesizers, electronics, subtle bells and gongs, guitars, and more, plus found sounds, birds, flowing water, wind, insects, and more across ten discrete cuts as opposed to a single longform piece that other composers might tend to do. With shimmering textures and swirling layers of mystery, each piece proceeds at its own pace and surrounds the listener with power and beauty, much like a safe walk through a moonlit forest, each element of the overall sound appearing in its turn, blanketing the listener in a peaceful warm feeling as the mind shuts down thoughts and concerns and opens for the unknown. It’s a ten-part journey that, from a listener’s perspective, hits the mark much more accurately than his earlier effort; although that one had its charms (and I still listen to it often), The Sleep Album is likely to take its place over time. If you are one who listens to floating sounds while you sleep, you need to experience this.

Filed under: New releases, 2024 releases

Related artist(s): Brannan Lane

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