Wednesday Knudsen - Soft Focus Volume Two

 

LP Edition of 250. Download included inside lp.

Release Date- July 5th, 2024 – Preorder available –  VOLUME TWO LP $24

It is absolutely appropriate the second volume of Wednesday Knudsen’s Soft Focus suite appears as spring finally begins to take hold. Like the brilliant first section of this work (the whole of which was initially released on CD), the music here is a celebration of shimmering sunlight and the awakening of nature’s tonal brilliance. But where the first LP focused on more bite-sized pieces of work, this one envisions and documents instrumental horizons that are ever expanding.

The first of the three tracks, “Sunshine,” is the shortest, and picks up where Volume One left off — slow single note electric piano runs with lightly buzzing sustain that are darker than the song title suggests, but utterly devoid of overt bummer tongues. The way the keys’ edges are muted for its ending feels like washing your hands in a bag of rough cut diamonds.

The second, “Ariel’s Letter and the Rain,” has a mysterious title that turns out to be far less abstract than you might imagine. It references a friend making some suggestions involving the rhythms and flow of nature at a crucial moment in the tune’s gestation. As simple as that, and the resultant sounds are stunning.

The final, side-long “Soft Focus II” begins with the same slow-massed notes that end “Soft Focus I,” but it mostly explores long tones generated by two or three notes that fluctuate and pulse like soft drops of dew on a car’s window, drooling to the wind’s commands while accreting size and strength. After a while things shift to small piano figures that repeat and mutate casually, before cascading upwards with a sense of coalescent rebirth.

Unlike Soft Focus Volume I, there are no vocals on this album, but the music creates its own meditative language that will transport you from wherever you happen to be, into warm sunshine and air filled with the languorous scents of earth awakening.

Paradise is rarely this portable.

–Byron Coley

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