What does Airport People sound like?
The Sims build mode.
The review of Airport People – From Nine Mornings
Leon Johnson, the man before Airport People, gave his debut album title in a literal sense. Each song was written on a morning when some upheaval or something dramatic occurred in his life. Each track after the prelude is nearly numbered as a morning so you never really know what took place to inspire the track. That doesn’t at all though as the musical melodies are so beautifully crafted, you’ll be drawn in anyway.
This probably says more about me than it does about Airport People but when I first heard the album, I thought “Sims build mode”. It is exactly the same vibe. Piano motifs are upbeat, warm and strike through with clarity. “From Morning no.2” is a great example of using a rolling motif that has an upbeat skipping twirl to it that gives the music a pep in its step. Coupled with the in-room but up close microphone positions, it means the piano sounds intimate and you can hear the hammers and guts working away. The gentle jazzy elevator-tinged percussion adds a breezy kitchen drama to each track. Upright bass adds a rustic undertow that underscores the piano riffs but never takes over. Some cello and manipulated effects hide in the background along with various field recordings to of children playing for example. It gives the impression of clarity and focus, whilst the world continues chaotically out the window.
Knowing that these tracks were written during tumultuous times, you wouldn’t really know it if you heard them. Some tracks start off melancholy like “No.5” but still evolve into something more uplifting, or at very least curious. The folksy rusticness of “No.6” feels like a new home or a redecorated room. “No.7” has an early morning commute in the rain feel. Both “No.4” and “No.8” are more ethereal and distant, using minimal piano work. Instead, they focus on shaved and scattered orchestral samples to create pauses and spaces in time. The closing piece sounds like Leon is having a walkabout in a crunchy forest as if to clear his head. All the while, calm and restrained melodies effortlessly cascade out of the speakers at you.
This whole album is like a mug of warming hot chocolate. It feels comforting in a world that has thrown upheaval and curveballs at you. Instead of sinking into that annoyance, Airport People instead provides a place to catch your breath. It’s a lovely album that will slow your mind… but also help you build better sim houses too.
Recommended track: From Morning no.2
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