Lullatone – Little Songs about Raindrops – 3.5/5
So I’ve had a small bout of writers block of late, except its luckily had something of a 'dodgy seal' allowing brief snippets of insight to trickle through. For the past few days I have been working on the new “Maggot Brain” release (which needs a wider release than it currently receives) but its been slow to formulate, and since I want to break this infernal cycle of not knowing the right word, im presenting to you lullatone in the mean time, working under the assumption most people will read the title and switch off. If you are not one of those people, I apologise now.
The reason I call this a challenge is because I havent the foggiest how to describe them; its ambient – this much is apparent – and despite being electronically designed is too ‘organic’ to really fit. They slightly jokingly refer to themselves as ‘Pajama pop’ due to the number of times their own lulling melodies cause them to spontaneously nap mid-track, and as odd as it sounds, it does fit. In fact, so does the album title; with each track making gratuitous of the glockenspiel along with basic acoustic guitars in the background, it isn’t hard to envisage the - at times almost random - patterns of the gently resonating steel of the glockenspiel as small drops of rain falling, evoking past memories of watching it pour; your child-like optimism and care free attitude as you let the liquid gently trickle down your hair and onto your feet, happily getting soaked by the wonders of the most commonplace of events.
Following a ‘day’ type scenario, there are tracks specifically carved out for drifting to sleep and waking up again, going from the morning coffee to the journey to school and back once more. Its oddly surprising how the small variations can lend itself to shedding a new light on the concept, each track like a small classical composition with regards to the detail gone into its immaculate production and the notes used; the extended electronic synths in the back to ‘wake up…’ transforming an otherwise simplistic piece into a slow rise in tension, or the carefully picked guitar in ‘drip drops…’ demonstrating a new slant, giving the impression of the rain gently jumping as it hits the ground.
In many ways this reminds of my first encounters with the genre, back when it was simple music with a clear cut purpose; an atmosphere or situation it was devoting all its energy into conveying. At forty minutes it can easily feel repetitive with only two instruments at hand, and some tracks begin to bleed together, but there is a simplistic beauty to it all. It has genuinely succeeded in its purpose as there is no music quite like this for delicately demonstrating the vivid sound of an oddly pleasant rainy day. These lullabies may have been intended for children but the effects are ageless. Now if you’ll excuse me, my bed is calling me.
Highlights: Leaves Falling, Morning Coffee