Pleasurable Feelings of Uncertainty: Hammock’s Oblivion Hymns

by Charissa Lock

Slipping through your veins, consoling your fidgeting soul, Oblivion Hymns [Hammock Music] (Out Now! Get it here!) slows your racing heart to a gentle beat and takes you on a peaceful journey through an ambient universe.  The destination is unimportant, where you’ve departed has already become a distant dream and the only thing that matters is which delicate way you’ll continue on.  Instrumentation and composure of the neoclassical nature surrounds Hammock’s nine tracks revolved around soft orchestration and a friendly appearance of a children’s choir.

As Sigur Ros’ shoegazing ways sparks productivity, motivation, and feelings of overcoming obstacles; Hammock is the suggestion, the spark of interest in making a movement, the seeming nowhere-bound placement that ironically lends itself to a realization (or the notion of one).  One is no better than the other, though may I suggest listening to Oblivion Hymns and then ValtariI.   It is within the simplicity and the verge of leaping forward that these compositions overwhelm you.  These songs are holding the suspense, stretching it out to its furthest corners and allowing you to soak in those moments.  Isn’t the best part of Christmas the waiting of opening presents?  Or even the waiting of someone else to open yours?  Hammock creates one beautiful rise of action to the next, the tip toeing towards the discovery in which your slowed and careful breathing almost ceases.  Even the song titles are elaborate, explaining the situation you’re faced with, but never the ending of the story.    For example the track titled, “I Could Hear The Water At The Edge of All Things” is dripping in a delicious approach to a story…but then what happens?  That moment of discovery is for you to unsheathe.

The professionalism of such an art comes forth after the two bandmates (Marc Byrd and Andrew Thompson) have completed eleven albums (between EPs and full-lengths) where they’ve experimented in quite a few versions of ambient post-rock goodness.  The responses have been favorable, especially from BBC, Pitchfork, and Sputnik Music, all boasting of Hammock’s excellence.  The nature of how notes and melodies are shifted is so fluid and magical, it’s no wonder these two have caught the eyes of music appreciators like myself.

This past weekend my friend and I embarked on universal topics, such as the meaning of life and the purpose of our souls.  We, like everyone does, came to a point of topic change once we had more questions than answers.  However, the ideas continued to circulate around my head throughout this week, and how delightful that I was listening to Oblivion Hymns during this time.  The concepts of creation, evolution, and arrival into the future are all hanging in the substantial atmosphere of this album.  Ambient music tends to trigger the notion of “the bigger picture” as it floats and opens your soul to possibility.  So in this state of self-wonder, Hammock edged my thoughts on, being able to dip my finger into the ideas of galaxies and energies with seemingly endless notes and heightened strings soaring above deep and grainy piano keys.  As music rightfully should, my mind widened and wondered along with every note.

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TAGS: Wonderful Symphony, Tres Dominé, Holiday music, Tour please?, Greatness, top instrumental album of 2013

Album Artwork: Amy Pleasant