Intimate felt piano solace.
There is a certain intimacy, calm and tranquillity that only a well-performed piece on a felt piano can give. The hammers softly melting into the felt and the rustle it brings. The creamy warmth of each note. Add in some distant reverb effects and the occasional glacial background noise and you have ‘Mursejler’. It is the new album from Jacob David and it is a dreamy peaceful glide into solace.
Across its twelve tracks, Jacob plays gently and with yearning. On some tracks like ‘Altid aldrig’, the muted notes and hammered felt are as much part of the noise as the piano notes themselves. Backed with the softest distant guitar warble or icy synth, it sounds like you’ve crawled inside the piano and are gently sailing to sea. Elsewhere other minor tweaks to the recording are added. ‘Opsang’ adds in a cute thumb piano to take the higher octave of the melody while ‘Undervejs’ uses field recordings of rain and reversed notes to slow your mind down. At all times, Jacob David is melodic. The album never strays into drone ambient but it borrows a lot of the best qualities from the genre and places it into the minimal classical contemporary zone.
Where Jacob David excels is in being able to convey that feeling of yearning through his compositions. One of the standout tracks is ‘Mormor’. It has a gentle piano cycle where the piano has the lightest of reverb shimmer to it. Then as the cello and viola join in, it feels like a lost moment in time, stretched out before you. The flip side is that ‘Flagra’ lets the piano shine in a hazy warmth that reminds me of lazy Sunday mornings in bed. The melodies aren’t sad ones, they are often quietly hopeful. It is a delicate balance that the album nails.
Fans of Daigo Hanada, Yuki Murata, Johan Johannsson and Snorri Hallgrimsson will love this. Those artists also nail that longing and yearning melodic vibe that makes you feel happy-sad and sedated. Another fine piano album for you lovers of the ivory wonder.
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