Throughout 2017 I have really come to appreciate instrumental, mood ambience music and the many forms and genres that actually crosses. Slow Meadow’s album Costero crosses so many musical boundaries but at its core is pure unadulterated emotion. It’s like the soundtrack to life and so if you are looking to pick up something in this musical field, you can’t do much better than Costero.
Opening with the hazy melody of “Ships Along the Harbour” we have a light piano and a shimmering arpeggio that runs like rain around the whole piece. It feels like a prelude but is so much more. “Boy in a Water Globe” slips in some lovely string arrangements that grow and swell into an ocean of twinkling ivories and deep string sea waves. The placement of the echoing piano and the bass bellows of the strings are exactly the things tear ducts are made for. “Borderland Sorrows” is more melody focused that emotion but has that up close feel to the piano, so you can hear every creak and cringle of each note. I always find that production warm and comforting and it works well throughout the album.
“Cielo Rojo” and “Viejo Carrusel” work as a duo for me. The first introduces us to of the more synth ambient soundscapes before the latter sounds like a child’s fairground that has been recorded to the dustiest vinyl known to man. The album returns back to its piano and string base for “Lamellophone and the Gulf of Mexico” and the luscious “Quintana” before hitting its home run with the stunning “Hurricane” which slowly envelopes itself into a full symphonic electronica piece. It uses a lot of noises, samples and audio notifs from before and mashes them together to create something astounding. The album closes with the ethereal “Palo Volador” which uses guitar feedback and whistles to create a soothing texture to wilt too.
The whole album is beautiful and has a vintage tone and quality to it. The actual melodies are simple, but there are so many layers that build up to the simplicity, you’re ear picks out different things upon each listen. If you love the recent surge in Icelandic composers like Olaf Arnalds then you’ll adore every moment of this.
Recommended Track: Hurricane