Last year I was telling my friend Michael about a great tape, Hope is to Hanker. Though it contained some familiar elements, it sounded unlike anything. Along with the Knit Prism release on Avant Archive, this tape was my trusted morning music. Freights and Fields, the second release from Talk West on No Kings, presents the sounds of burgeoning spring.
Where as Hope is to Hanker involved pastoral, finger-picked folk tracks, the map of Freights and Fields is variegated. The palette, which still contains the illuminating sounds of the trusty pedal steel, is broadened on this release to include synth, loops and air organ. The tape opens with the familiar Talk West sound. Sounds that can be characterized as warm and woozy paint the room with bright colors. The next two tracks are different than anything on Hope is to Hanker; they include loops, synth and maybe even violin. The fourth track reminds me of Basinski's Disintegration Loops - my favorite track on the tape. The track morphs as the celestial sounds ride a wave of hiss prior to regaining the initial shape. The fifth track is pure bliss, it sounds like a dream combination of Black Eagle Child and Talk West. For me, these are the sounds of the sun permeating an otherwise indifferent day. The flip side opens up with "Cocoon", which is a gorgeous, light drone. The second track, "Annbis Cave", with its blue tones, lightly pulses in the head - a real mellow journey. The third track starts off with an ominous, sinister tone - reminds me of Ambarchi's Suspension. "Relish Today" gives off a scent of nostalgia with its delicate finger-picking. The closer, "Rope Swing", contains playful, innocent sounds that remind me of childhood and discovery.
While the year is young, already there have been some great releases from incipient and established labels. No Kings hit the jackpot here. Freights and Fields is a high quality release and thrives on repeated listening. The new batch from No Kings is going quickly. Get it here: No Kings.