What do you get when when you combine two very different, but phenomenal acts in the chillwave scene? The answer is quite simple – an album that evokes the senses. Combine that with an equally splendid beverage and you’re set. Before continuing, let me warn that if ambient chillwave isn’t your style of music, you should move on.
Alright, now that we’ve weeded out the non-believers, let’s get cracking. Some may be wondering why listen to this style of music. It’s quite simple really, it helps me relax and gets me focused. I am a software engineer by trade, and this style of music is great for getting me in the zone. Perhaps not this particular album, but this style of music. This album has “wind-down” written all over it.
The beer joining me today is the True Vine Sanctimonium, a Belgian Quadruple hailing from Tyler, Texas
Onto the Music
I’ll start by saying that this album should be considered an EP. It’s very short at only 20 minutes long. That said, those twenty minutes though are some of the finest chillwave I’ve heard in a long while. Let’s dig in.
Normally when I go to review an album, I have a notepad or tablet by my side that I can use to write down notes. The more astute critical listeners will be quick to point out that the human brain is quick to forget minute details. Thus, writing them down is the best solution for me.
This was the very first album that when I finished, I realized that I hadn’t written anything down. I was lost in a trance of pure joy. That has to say something. But recycling the album to the beginning, let’s talk sound.
The opening track “thinking of you” starts with a guitar, peacefully playing slightly off center. Welcoming, it leads into a wonderful drum beat that keeps it all together. In the background is an ambiance that feels like a dream. That’s really the first thing that comes to mind. And just as quickly as the track begins, it ends… leading into “soupeddd” and “everything you say”.
As I continued listening to the album (sometimes on repeat), I started coming to the conclusion that the album is definitely telling a story. Perhaps one of a relationship? As I listened to “embrace” and “takoyaki promenade”, the general ambiance and melody gave way to a feeling of friendship and trust. Just like always though, the melody and drums were there to carry me away, allowing me to forget about the day and just relax.
My favorite track of the album is “throwback port”. It encompasses everything that I enjoy about the chillwave/ambient genre in general. It’s not terribly exciting, nor does it change its beat/melody, but what it does do, it does right. Coming into the last quarter of the album, the beat changes ever so slightly, giving the sensation of belonging.
I think by this point of the album, both the artist(s) and the listener know that they’ve been in for a ride together.
The Album In Review
Looking over what I wrote, I have to ask. Wow, was I really reviewing an album? It’s hard to believe, you’d think I was writing a love story. But it’s truly how I felt listening to the album.
There aren’t any words, but there didn’t need to be in an album where each track is roughly 90 seconds long. What I can say with ease though is that all artists involved did a tremendous job of capturing the “relaxation” mood and finding a way to let the listener experience it in the comfort of their home.
What about the Beer?
This True Vine beer was something special. I’m tempted to say that it outpaced the record, which is a first for me. I usually try to pick a beverage that matches the quality and feeling of the album that I’m listening to, but I would be lying if I didn’t say the beer continued to demand my attention instead of being an equal partner.
The note that stood out the most was the fig. If you don’t like them, you best stay away from the Sanctimonium. But I love them, which is probably why I loved this beer. Malt, figs, and a hint of cherry on the end.
Thus comes to the end a rather different review. Until next time!