Following up their 2012 LP The Language of Flowers, Texas-based duo Twigs & Yarn release a fantastic second LP called Still Forms Drift, coming via consistently excellent French label Eilean Records. Stephen Orsak and Lauren McMurray combine delicate field recordings and tones to create subtle but very detailed melodic works whose sound often parallels many aspects of fellow ambient composer Federico Durand. Where Durand often chooses to keep his innocent works on the more abstract side of the ambient spectrum, Twigs & Yarn take a more direct approach to melodic themes, often making use of Lauren McMurray’s beautiful vocal work by intertwining it within their recordings.
Still Forms Drift is a collection of simple improvisations and field recordings gathered between 2013 and 2015. Recorded remotely at various locations in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Japan, each composition attempts to capture the unique emotional resonance experienced in that particular time and physical environment.
The often ambiguous emotion put forth by ambient music can leave its moods to be interpreted on a dichotomous scale; it can be easy for one person to characterize ambient sounds as melancholic while yet another might say the same work is optimistic and positive.
On Still Forms Drift however, tracks produced by Twigs & Yarn lean more concretely on the optimistic side of the scale. Perhaps the most wonderful example of this optimism is through the album’s final track, “Floes”, which steadily traverses a sea of shimmering hammer tones and leads listeners into a psychedelic mash of McMurray’s filtered vocal experimentation. The effect of “Floes” is a positively warm one, causing the brain to radiate with waves of synchronously released, pleasant neurotransmitters.
The album as a whole is a wonderful work of pleasant ambient sounds, never breaching overtly aggressive sounds yet maintaining enough structure to embed itself in the memory of the listener, contrary to much of the “in-one-ear-out-the-other” drone-based music that can find itself lost on hard-drives forever after a single listen. Still Forms Drift is a great companion for enjoying the first warmth of sunrise before the noise of the world’s bustling commences and comes highly recommended for the ambient enthusiast’s music collection.
Artist: Twigs & Yarn | Album: Still Forms Drift | Released: April 2015
Label: Eilean | Genre: Ambient