In my recent advances in ambient music, I’ve been finding more and more that I’m drawn to this particular type of music. It fits me well, and day after day I find myself digging around through various websites to find great artists who make inspiring and creative music. My search is ongoing, but there are some diamonds in the rough that I have found since it began. Chasing Dreams seems to be my favorite so far, with his current release of “Everything Feels Infinite”, an 18-track long expanse of imaginative and experimental pursuits. To talk about every song on this album would feel infinite as well, but I want to highlight my favorite songs and why this album is such a huge success.
Upon reading the short description that is on his Bandcamp, you can tell that this album has been pushed to its creative limits. He snuck away and spent all of 2014 on one goal: making this album. The achievement is not the length of time or the amount of songs, the achievement is in the beauty of the songs themselves, each presenting fluid, diverse arrangements with various instruments and ideas.
RELEASE DATE: 15 May 2015 LABEL: Self-released
The first song that really stood out to me was “I See You From The Clouds”. It introduces the sounds of old-fashioned church bells and a playful piano, surrounded by a lush and open atmosphere. I especially loved the humming throughout, adding another layer to the never-ending sound this song is. It truly treated the vocals as an instrument in itself, which made it all the more fitting. It is a relaxing, enveloping track that graciously shines through this collection of music with its simple and unique feel.
Next up is a song that completely holds you from the start, “Rays of Life”. What can only be described as a binary loop pulses in and out right when it begins, and is followed by a deep guitar section that can be compared to the sound the Books strived to get on their guitars. This track is about as calm and pensive as them too, with an airy texture to bring it to its full potential. It’s highly uplifting, and it really puts your head in the clouds.
As you trek through this 2 hour epic, you will realize that this album really does have a flow to it, and must be listened to in full (but maybe not in one sitting). The songs work individually, but together as well, and this is apparent on the fifth track of the album, which follows “Rays of Life”. “Alive Again” throws the listener for a loop with the more dramatic, depressing, and empty feeling than all of the songs before it. A bare piano and keys take you through powerful ambient textures and leaves you among dark waters. It’s cold, abandoned, and you are alone. This song seems to lock you in a certain feeling, and for those five minutes you experience those emotions vividly.
Like I stated before, this album is exotic. It brings in a variety of genres, like the EDM-inspired track “The Lightless Gate”. The booming drums are the centerpiece of this song, with their distorted beat and drone-like static. The song itself sounds like something Jon Hopkins would create, with just a hint of more consistency and experimentation. The synthesizers that pierce through near the middle of the track are breathtaking, and the overall advancement of its full eight minutes is excellent.
“Swimming Into Fog, Breathing The Mystery” stands out as one of the darkest tracks on the album. It’s this weird mix of full on experimental with a trip-hop track nightmare. The song really makes you feel secluded, pushed down, and exiled. It features some of the most stunning production on this album, and “Swimming Into Fog, Breathing The Mystery” really weighs you down. This is definitely a staple moment of the downfall of positive emotions from this album, and it is the most intense one out of the bunch. “Everything Feels Infinite” starts uplifting, and takes a turn into despair, so what is left?
“Could There Be Any Sign of Peace in This Place?” is a hopeful start to the third part of this album. With a beautiful piano opening the track, it pours out elation and a new sense of revitalization. This minimal piano is about the only thing this track really does, and it only provides a taste of atmosphere near the end. However, it satisfies a profound feeling of happiness, which is only pushed further with the increasing tempo towards the end. This album is an unwinding story, and piece by piece you have to figure out just what every song means.
I think the last two songs, “Panorama” and “Eternal (Part 2)” say the most on the album without saying much at all. “Panorama” features a very delicate loop of keys that swirl through the airy background noise. The song speaks more and more as it progresses, and it’s long length is utilized with every nook and cranny of sound. It is surely a very moving track, and the trance feel gives the repetition an integral part of the song. “Eternal (Part 2)” is a distant track, with a great mix of field recordings accompanied with meek sounds. It is definitely the most ambient track on the album, with influences from drone as well. I find it to be more of a “less is more” approach to songwriting, and it definitely pays off here. It works so well that one may be able to determine what kind of emotion this track is supposed to leave you with, and it certainly feels like it is intentionally left to individual interpretation. It’s a blissful end in the sense that is leaves everyone to their own idea of what this album means in the long run, and what it wants to be.
“Everything Feels Infinite” settles the debate over quality and quantity with one simple question: Why not both? This album, full of such deep, lucid emotions seems to nail it on the head in everything it wanted to achieve, and is a great representation of how diverse an ambient release can be. While I stated some influences that were drawn from in the creation of this album, that only scratches the surface of how extensive it truly is. What’s even better is that it is matched with a beautiful, elegant album artwork that compliments the music beautifully. You really do feel on top of the world when listening to this album, and the great part of this story is what you as a listener takes from it. Whether you are left with happiness or sadness upon completing this album, it represents both (among other emotions), and does so with such fine detail. Each composition on this epic have been worked out and modified to make this experience one you will never forget.