Endless Melancholy needs no introduction. Under Oleksiy Sakevych’s careful hands, he has been the driving force of modern classical and minimalist pursuits in the recent years. Through his music, I found a deep apprecation in the likes of Debussy and Satie, and all respectively play the piano with elegance. It is also no surprise that for Endless Melancholy’s fourth full-length album there was a significant change in his sound, focusing more on ambient soundscapes.
If you followed Endless Melancholy’s music leading up to this album, you would know the direction this album was headed with his releases of Ambermixes and Wide As The Golden Ocean. Ambermixes serves as a compilation of ambient remixes from a talented list of artists and projects. Wide As The Golden Ocean was a split with him and Desolate Horizons (whom I’ve also reviewed previously on the site), which featured two songs, predominantly ambient and drone. He’s headed in a direction more grounded in synthesizers, samples, and field recordings.
RELEASE DATE: 27 July 2015 LABEL: Hidden Vibes
While one might worry about this dramatic change from the norm, the execution of Her Name In A Language Of Stars is quite remarkable. The album begins with beautiful metal clanging of a music box, both nostalgic and mystifying. “Tiny Boxes of Memories” features a beautiful melody with layers of ambient textures that hang over you like a dark night, void of light but the stars above. This astral theme is constant throughout the album, and here it keeps you floating, relying on soft piano keys to bring you back down to solid footing.
The title track is perhaps the most elegant, soft, and pure. The layers dance and swirl like a balloon caught in the wind with an ever-growing atmosphere billowing slowly beneath it. The song flourishes with a subdued piano elegantly carrying the track to the end. The switch to ambient presented Endless Melancholy with a challenge, and he couldn’t simply rely on his skills on piano to create this album. Now, the piano must be utilized in small amounts, carefully picking when it should and shouldn’t be used. “Her Name In A Language Of Stars” is a perfect example of this, highlighting the subtlety of emotion that a piano can bring in ambient music.
Going with this, the lengths of the songs have been some of the longest in all of Endless Melancholy’s catalog. Like Ships Without Anchors and Burial, When The Sun Sets clock in at ten and fifteen minutes respectively, and give way to more drone and cinematic features to this release. Both songs take their time to develop, slowly rising and falling like calm, open waters. This is more apparent on Like Ships Without Anchors, as the theme is centered around the peaceful abyss the ocean can bring. Burial, When The Sun Sets is a lamentation, an ode to the moon and the starry sky that rests around it, covering our horizon like a blanket. The motif of this shared night sky isn’t accomplished easily, but all the elements combined on Burial, When The Sun Sets give forth a telling resemblance of this image musically.
This album isn’t over when the last song ends, however, as Endless Melancholy teamed up with a star-studded list of artists to remix the songs on it. While usually I don’t listen to remixes as much as original content, Benoît Pioulard, Will Bolton, and Desolate Horizons brought their own unique talents to these tracks. Benoît Pioulard’s remix is open and pensive, Will Bolton’s is dark and ominous; something completely out of norm for this release, and Desolate Horizon’s is loud, forceful, and drowning with textures.
Her Name In A Language Of Stars is an expression and appreciation of the world around you. It encourages an external view of reality, finding the unchanging and everlasting beauty of a sunset, a starry night; constants in our daily life we do not always take the time to value. Endless Melancholy cherishes these moments, captures them in a jar, and opens the lid for a listening ear. This album can be seen as a step back, a reminder to relax and enjoy the world that creates such splendor and awe for us to view. This theme is the driving force of Her Name In A Language Of Stars, heightening the gifts the Earth has left for us.