I like that the label is called Hammock Music – there could be nothing more representative. Hammock makes Hammock music. The post-rock duo has fully transitioned to a modern-classical, deep ambient fix and it’s happened, well, over every album actually – you go back through a catalogue 10 albums deep and can now see and hear and feel every step, but certainly it started with 2013’s Oblivion Hymns, where the emotional (and spiritual) weight of a slow-moving piece as close to overwhelming, maybe for some it was nearly unbearable. I’ve never felt anything more than a profound beauty when listening to the second half of Hammock’s career.
And across what is now a trilogy of albums in as many years (starting with Mysterium, then last year’s Universalis and now Silencia) there’s a grief that is informing this work – the actual grief coming from the loss of Marc Byrd’s nephew. There’s a spiritual grief one can attach to these works too. This is modern music’s Symphony of Sorrowful Songs; there is something deep and hugely moving about the soulfulness of these works.
And Silencia’s title track seems to sit somewhere between Eno’s (imagined) Apollo soundtracks and Theodore Shapiro’s actual score for the movie Destroyer.
This is a world where I want to be. I could live here. And for the moments that these ‘songs’ pass by I feel like I am; I feel like I do.
There are pieces here that feel as if they were composed to soundtrack the opening of a flower (Circular As Our Way, When It Hurts To Remember) and even the titles alone here tell us if not how to feel then how the composers might have been feeling or the summoning of certain feelings within the spirit of the music (Afraid to Forget, In The Shattering of Things, Why We Try To Make Sense of It All).
Hammock’s music has been its own meditation for me for most of the last decade.
An hour or more – often with the same album on repeat – and you stare at nothing, whilst contemplating everything.
Life is Life is the name of the penultimate piece on this album. Calming and reflective – it is the soft-wash and lush focus of everything. It is almost too much. In its way.
Each new Hammock album takes me somewhere else on the journey. Somewhere I didn’t know I needed to be until I hear it and feel it and get there.
This band has made some of the very best music by anyone I’ve ever heard across its 16 years. And here with Silencia, it’s no mean feat to suggest that they’ve made some of their very best music ever.
I want to cry.
You can support Off The Tracks via PressPatron