1. Who is the band? What is their history? What motivates them?
“Regarded by critics and fans alike as one of the most interesting up and coming alt/art rock bands in Europe, Nosound inventively combines influences from ‘70s psychedelia, ‘80s/’90s ambient and contemporary alternative, progressive and post rock. The project started as a one man studio project in late 2002 by Giancarlo Erra, but has since grown into a five piece band, evolving into something unique, focused and powerful” (http://www.Nosound.net).“The music is evocative and intense, with personal songwriting. Influences range from Pink Floyd to Brian Eno, from Porcupine Tree to Sigur Ros, passing through rock and electronic/ambient” (http://www.Nosound.net).
2. Why did they make this album? What was the passion or message that forced them to produce what they have? Or, simply what was their motivation for the themes they chose for this album?
This is their latest release following the critically acclaimed album Lightdark.
3. What message are they delivering through their lyrics and music?
1. Some Warmth into This Chill (7.55) - A slow, quiet beginning of strings, cymbals, and drums opens this deep song about anger and apathy. “A cold routine to lie in a growing apathy killing me.” The music really builds the effect of an “unconscious, unconstant gravity”, very well. The piano starts at the midway point adding warmth to the dimensions uncovered at the beginning. But how to end the apathy? “Staring at the same sight through these new different eyes, it makes lighter every step, it makes lighter every fight.” Sun emerging from the trees.” Yes, you can come out of the apathy and return to innovation and progress by looking at things from a different perspective. A nice trip in the forests or at the ocean can do that. That piano provides the hope.
2. Fading Silently (8.27) - Another cool opening not unlike Lightdark. Strings, drums, and slowly strummed guitar. The keys coming to the forefront. Then that awesome, striking piano. My first encounter with this album and still my favorite song. The lyrics are just incredible. “We were lying in the sand. You were holding my hand. You were playing in the sea. Always smiling at me.” Easily my favorite song. If you have ever spent a day at the ocean with your best friend or spouse, you know what Giancarlo is describing here. One of the best days of anyone’s life. “We used to talk so long about the things to come. Nights flowed into the sea.” Lost love or love separated by distance. The memories and this wonderful music bring you back to the day when they come together in this way.
3. Tender Claim (8.07) - Another quiet opening with effects and Giancarlo singing with an echo effect and keys in the background, then the guitars. Then the drums and full band comes in to support Giancarlo at “I wish to be somewhere else. Start again and forget from above and below what I learned and thought.” A break – up of a serious relationship. Sad, but described with such beautiful music and that communication of a real loss. A dreamy female voice in the background bringing back that Mad Man Moon sound and echo of a siren on the sea. The effect of the sound of the ocean and a similar (hairdryer), effect, used on Silence to Noise on Lightdark.
4. My Apology (5.41) - Acoustic guitar brings this song to life before the piano paints its broad strokes. “Remembering time when we were in love.” This is a lament to lost love. “The bridges falling down, the empty spaces.” Deep and emotional music which reflects the change of seasons from summer’s brightness to fall’s darker light space.
5. Constant Contrast (5.42) - Acoustic guitar, keys and effects fill the air as another dreamy song opens. The mid section is very powerful with the words, “I lived a different world a different life not me dreaming every day.” The protagonist regretting the loss, “but I’m leaving you now departing from here to avoid admitting that pain is writing and singing your name.”
6. Winter Will Come (15.39) - The epic song. Slow strings open this song, then the cymbals and drums. “Dark clouds away and over again. Falling leaves moved by air. A wind from far suddenly appeared.” “A well known smell in the air…” The crystal cold air of late fall or winter, with snow falling, searching the heavens for stars. That’s the feeling I get from the opening of this song. Just incredible sounds and effects that transport you to the wintery scene. Quiet building calm, before the crush of guitars begin at 4:58 minutes into the song. The effect is just so jarring and powerful that it wakes you from the deep calm that has surrounded the entire album up until this point. “Like thousands windows on the infinite time, in dark sky the stars light shines.” Then quiet keys, effects, and strings. Building keys and strings to close this masterpiece. The slow drum dirge begins slowly. “The summer has gone and winter will come.” “It arrived…and left us behind.”
4. Does this music improve, change, or add to the genre? What does the listener receive from listening to the music?
This album is like an acoustic version of Lightdark. Very similar but more powerful in that more instrumentation was used instead of synthesizers. Strings replaced the synthesizers used on Lightdark. This increased the human feeling on this album to a much higher level. It communicates a sense of what loss must feel and sound like. The depth of the lyrics is another step beyond Lightdark, which IMHO is their best album.
As a fan you want to hear progress from your favorite bands. This is one of my favorite bands and they have created a more human sound for this album.
7. Does it have longevity? Is it something a fan will like to play again and again?
Yes. However, it is limited in that you really need to spend time listening to it and understanding the lyrics and the power of the instrumentation. There is a very complex design to the album which cannot be fully appreciated in today’s mobile iPod society. This is definitely music for audiophiles and people who appreciate the time and effort invested in making quality music. As a listener you must also invest more time in really taking in the full effect of the sounds and the delivery of the lyrics.
Rating: 8/10 – Very good follow up to Lightdark with more human instrumentation. However, I was looking for a new sound with more varied song dimensions and instrumentation. It sounds very close to Lightdark, and the subject matter makes it tough to want to hear daily. Perfect for fall and winter, but it will be hard to play this on a sunny summer day.
Reviewed by Prof on September 30th, 2009