Album review: Rhian Sheehan, Stories from Elsewhere

By Scott Kara

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Album cover for Stories from Elsewhere. Photo / Supplied
Album cover for Stories from Elsewhere. Photo / Supplied

The fourth studio album from Wellington's post-rock ambient music whiz, is like a meeting of electronic renegade Aphex Twin, an 18th century classical composer, and the heart-pounding pomp of Coldplay. The latter comparison might sound odd but Sheehan's music has an inviting, reflective, and uplifting mood similar to the Brit rockers. Although the multitude of textures he squeezes so delicately into his cinematic songs makes for a far more all-consuming and enveloping listening experience. There's the escalating swoon of Somnus, which is similar to Stories' collaborator Jeff Boyle's post-rock band Jakob; on the quirky and cute pop whimsy of Little Sines Sheehan's at his playful and tinkering best, and the music boxes he used so poignantly on previous album Standing in Silence (2009) are back again to conjure up happy, and sometimes spooky childhood memories on La Boite a Musique. This is a more expansive album than the beautifully brittle and static Standing in Silence. The triumphant Nocturne 1985 is the most striking example as it unfolds gently with glitches and chimes before putting the spectral, high-beam hammer down and moving into dance mode to make it a nocturne like no other. And it's with tracks like that you're taken away to "elsewhere".

Stars: 4/5
Verdict: Singular sounds of silence take flight

- TimeOut

- NZ Herald

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