The first 200 copies of the album comes with a bonus CD containing excellent remixes by The Sly and Unseen, Benoit Pioulard, William Ryan Fritch, Pausal, A New Line (Related), and Talvihorros.
Memory Drawings consist of American hammered dulcimer player Joel Hanson who alongside Hood's Richard Adams and Lanterns on the Lake's Sarah Kemp to create beguiling instrumental chamber folk music. 'There is No Perfect Place" is their second full length album following the well-received and long sold out 'Music for Another Loss' on Second Language. It continues their infatuation with cinematic textures and 'Straight Story' soundtrack like instrumental vignettes but widens their pallete with kraut-driven opuses like 'The Island of the Day Before' and the gorgeous Talk Talk/Sakamoto piece 'There is a World Without You'.
CD on Hibernate (Joel Hanson / Richard Adams (Hood/The Declining Winter) / Sarah Kemp (Lanterns on the Lake)) inc. Ltd bonus CD feat. remixes by The Sly and Unseen, Benoit Pioulard, William Ryan Fritch, Pausal, A New Line (Related).
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- There Is No Perfect Place by Memory Drawings
I’ve been lured out of my imposed review abstinence by the new Memory Drawings album. Every so often I just get the urge to write about something when confronted with something special and this is one of those special things. Even the office musical pixie ‘Kim’ piped up this was beautiful when I was having a sneaky listen the other morning and she rarely does much piping.
In case you didn’t know Memory Drawings is Richard Adams (Hood), Joel Hanson, Sarah Kemp (Lanterns On The Lake, Last Harbour), Gareth S Brown (Gareth S Brown and ex Hood), Chris Tenz and Florence Fawcett (Glissando).
The album opens up with the stunning instrumental ‘Back To The Moment I’ (note it ends with the equally sublime ‘Back To The Moment II’). These 2 tracks ensure you both enter and leave the album in the correct state of mind. The interplay between dulcimer, violin and guitar is simply gorgeous and as the opener it’s very much a statement of intent as to what lies ahead.
‘The Island of The Day Before’ introduces vocals into the mix and is reminiscent of Hood’s ‘Outside Closer’ era. It's n almost perfect piece of pop music that relies on simplicity and repetition. Thoroughly delightful! As is the melancholic ‘Then And Now’, where the dulcimer and violin reign supreme. In fact the dulcimer really shines for me throughout the album. It’s an instrument you don’t really hear too much in modern day music and I’m starting to think that something needs to be done about that.
Anyway, I’m not gonna do a track-by-track review as we’ll all be here for ages. There are myriad highlights, particularly the Talk Talk-ish tones of ‘There Is a World Without You’ which features some really stunning violin playing. All you need to know, though, is that this is a great album.
Initial copies come with a bonus disc featuring remixes by William Ryan Fritch, Pausal, A New Line (Related), Talvihorros, Benoit Pioulard and The Sly and Unseen. This is also a thoroughly sweet listen, the artists deconstructing the sound of the original album into new and exciting noises, mainly more ambient stylings but nice all the same.
And it all comes in a lovely, foldy-out CD with some pretty nice photography which look nice with your eyes...
9/10 Ashton In Space 8th September 2014
This is a lovely lovely record, like Hood but with more dulcimers and less moaning (and I love a good old Hood moan). Another comparison would be the long lost State River Widening's propulsive chamber krautrock, but this time with a more melancholy edge. Beautiful and, until a very welcome Norman Records recommendation, unheard of at Ashton Towers. The only reason it's not a full on 10/10 is that it feels like a track short - more songs please! And more dulcimers in general, too. Thanks.
10/10 Ed 17th August 2014
I ordered this on Thursday, it arrived Friday, and I haven't stopped playing it since.
It's one of those albums that will instantly obsess you. A perfect and gentle mix of folk stylings, melancholic country tinges and weird pop. You can clearly hear Hood in there, especially on 'The Island Of The Day Before', but if I had to pick a recent album that it most resembles then I think I would go for the highly surprising last one from These New Puritans. Not necessarily because of the music itself but in the overall vision: the ambition displayed, the refusal of conventions, the underlying simplicity, the determination to do something odd and wonderful.
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