Solo electronica from the UK’s own Jim Bryant comes through with waves of bass and distant fragments of thought – his project Living With the Storm delivers a brand new EP.
Beginning with its title-track, pairing the simple, hypnotic repeat of an upfront bass-line with echoes of industrial rhythm and tinny layers of intimate voice and retro shimmers, The Purpose Of The Planet delves into the role of the self, accessing head space with both topic and overall vibe.
From the calming wash of the first half, to the more minimal mid-section of quiet, raw reflections, the track creates an ideal arena of peaceful contemplation. The lyrics are kept simple yet suggestive, provocative even, and the instrumental permits the listener time to fill in the gaps.
Ultimately, ‘we don’t know where we belong’ resounds in a beautifully unified, strangely comforting fashion.
Call it dreamy trip hop or nostalgic electronica with an edge of contemporary creative intention, Living With The Storm brings together organic musicianship and uninhibited production and writing. The EP is as poetic as it is personal, as vast as it is focused, and as uncertain as it is confident in its portrayal of modern living.
With Face The Island, strength of songwriting takes over – an easy piano lead, a familiar melody, a melancholic yet catchy hook. Only a select few lyrics are needed, alongside the emotive ache in the accessible, relatable vocal, and the subtle but clever build-up of the music, to entirely envelop the listener in this energy and understanding.
Subliminal unites heavy bass and vintage synths, organ-style notes and other less determinable utterances, for an instrumental that intrigues and captivates; aptly luring you in to provoke thoughts of something bigger and unexpected. Alternative jazz, to a degree, free-flowing yet purposeful and passionately wrapped up.
Vocally there’s an air of eighties and nineties songwriting, the likes of Depeche Mode then Elbow, in the way the lyrics emerge. Musically though, there’s a sort of Avant Garde edge of artistry to each track, and this builds upon the audience’s connection to the moment in a beautifully refreshing way. Pieces That Don’t Fit makes for a rather stunning, hypnotically melancholic and simultaneously hopeful example.
Then we get the easy, familiar rising anticipation of the piano to finish, live keys complete with the weight of touch, and a breathy, drawn-out vocal lead of poetic observations. As vague as ever, yours to interpret – to each their own experience, as is the gift of finely-crafted music and art.
The recognisable presence of the piano on Don’t Forget Us injects a welcomed touch of identity that helps string the whole project together. It actually leaves you wanting more – wishing the collection was longer. Of course, it’s always better to leave your audience keen to re-listen, than to overstretch an experience for the sake of quantity.
Beautiful, unusual yet welcomed, relevant – a real pleasure to escape into, to consider, and to feel affected by.