Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Ezra Feinberg’s zen/post-rock chill mix

April 3, 2018

Ezra Feinberg‘s Pentimento and Others is a deeply intriguing instrumental album that bridges the space between zen-style ambient bliss and acoustic post-rock. If you’re the sort of person who has names for different types of chill moods, you’ll be very into this.

The album opens with “God Sized Hole,” a zen, free-floating ambient track that would fit perfectly for meditation or yoga background. “True Refuge” is the highlight, a dense, layered piece that stacks gentle acoustic guitars, bass, and twinkling keys on top of each other like an acoustic version of a Teen Daze tune. It has movement like a road trip tune, building over the first few minutes to a glorious cascading guitar line that just nails it. And then, Feinberg layers on yet more melodies. But it never seems heavy—-just surging, always forward, ever forward. “Kernel and Shell” returns to the relaxing, zen ways, importing a little hippie ‘60s with dueling flutes and kalimba. It’s like Lullatone with more density. “Sweater Weather” is a pensive, solo guitar rumination, only 71 seconds long.

“Pentimento” is the math rock version of “True Refuge,” as a staccato guitar rhythm holds down the ostinato while an exploratory low-end line competes with a zooming high end line in a jigsaw-fit, mesmerizing pattern. Amazingly, Feinberg turns this mathyness into a backdrop for the slow unveiling of heavily reverbed chords, like the slow motion movement of storm clouds in the midst of a heavy summer rainstorm. It resolves into a guitar rumination (a la “Sweater Weather”), tying the two parts of the record together.

“The Sensory Floor” ties the zen and the math together, creating a warm, moving track that is not good for yoga but is good for a lot of other things. It is one of the dreamiest of the tracks. Closer “Experience Near” is the most organic of the tunes, with acoustic guitar strum leading the way through a loose, rolling arrangement reminiscent of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar artists like Makana. Imagine lounging leisurely on a beach, but not with a ukulele in your hand. If you’re into Balmorhea, The Album Leaf, or Seryn, you’ll love this.

Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of instrumental music. We write about those trying to make the next step in their careers and established artists.

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