Andy Othling (Lowercase Noises) has been busy. Late 2010 saw the release of his full-length gem, Carry Us All Away; he has contributed songs to several outstanding compilations (Singularity1, Hope For Japan, Hawk Moon Records Volume II); and now we get his latest EP, Migratory Patterns, which, according to the notes accompanying the release, “is about a lonely whale, and is inspired by this story http://bit.ly/52hertz.”
You should definitely read the blog post about the whale – the story is somber and lonely, and the calm of the songs on this EP give an additional dimension to this mysterious animal. ‘Migratory Patterns’ is a classic Lowercase Noises release – melodic, modern guitar soundscapes and hushed electronics, perfectly accompanied by strings and other acoustics. There’s a wonderful richness and depth to these songs, and as you listen, it’s easy to picture this mysterious whale wondering the ocean. I know that Andy isn’t fond of the word ambient as a description for his music, although for those of you who aren’t familiar with Lowercase Noises, but are fans of ambient/electronic/acoustic artists such as Harold Budd, Michael Brook, A Produce, and Robin Guthrie, you’ll definitely enjoy this record, as well as the other LCN releases.
When listening to ‘Migratory Patterns’ (which I do quite often these days), I hear a confident musician whose talent and experience is evident throughout the five songs on this release. “Song for No One” starts the EP quietly with hushed and smooth waves of sound; “Persistence” is a more traditional Lowercase Noises song with a relaxed beat, keyboards, strings, and guitar; “Depths” is melodic and quiet – a composition that features a wonderful strings arrangement, bringing to mind the work of Martin McCarrick, and the instrumental tracks on This Mortal Coil’s classic ‘Filigree and Shadow;’ and closing the record are two outstanding selections, “Migratory Patterns” and “Farewell,” that will surprise you with the addition of mellow vocals and banjo – a very interesting and wonderful layer to the final songs on the EP. Andy has truly mastered the art of Lowercase Noises. His enthusiasm and passion about his music is what makes it so perfect for the listener.
‘Migratory Patterns’ is an outstanding Lowercase Noises release. It’s mellow, melodic and as smooth as a calm ocean. Has Andy captured the essence of this wondering whale? That’s for you to decide – you can listen to it in its entirety via his Bandcamp page (along with his other releases), and since it’s so reasonably priced, you should buy a copy for your music collection. I need no convincing – I’ve been a fan for a long time, and I look forward to enjoying the music of Lowercase Noises for a long time to come…
As an extra treat, my daughters (Eliza is 5.5 and Abby is 9) listened to the songs while I was writing this review and did their own artwork to go along with the story and the music (link below).