A mix of bluesy piano pieces and rhythmic ambience.
Keyboard synth-based ambience is an interesting genre because it can veer into so many different directions. Rob Burger feels like he is in an exploratory mood with “Marching with Feathers” – fliting between piano instrumentals and hazier rhythmic synth and guitar pieces. Whilst the album didn’t land for me personally, I can see how fans of “ambient to walk to” would absolutely click with it.
The reason I say this is because many of the tracks have a rhythmic flow to them but they contain half melodic motifs. At the albums best, tracks like “Library Science” feel like a curious shuffle of mini motifs excellently woven together. There’s percussion, guitar, bass, synth and weird noises all moving together like a contraption coming to life. The title track and “Waking Up Slowly” feel like background music to tv movie scenes where the main character is walking somewhere – like in a town or a place where the surrounding is a background character. It sounds nice but it doesn’t have that hook to completely draw you in. “Hotel For Saints” is needlessly aggressive from distorted drums to metallic pianos and it jars compared to the rest of the album. On the flip side, the closing track “Night Feet” has a warm slumber glow to the rounded synths and light piano. It’s like the moon’s tendrils are just snaking away out of sight.
Interspersed between all these more electronic ambient tracks are piano pieces. These are all relaxed, bluesy and recorded with intimately placed microphones. “Figurine” is a beautiful piece and it opens the album with one of the most melodic pieces and is a great entry point for the album. None of the other piano tracks quite hit the same feels though. “Still” is pleasant, but much of the album is – and so it faded a little into the background for me.
I enjoyed Rob Burger’s “Marching to Feathers” best when I was outside, walking. It feels like music made to accompany something and that’s why I think I struggled with it when I chose to focus purely on listening to it. If this cross over of piano blues and rhythmic ambience piques your interest, there is nothing overtly shocking or crazy here – it is a cosy album. I was just hoping for something with a bolder personality.
Recommended track: Library Science
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