Old Solar surprised a lot of people with the energetic “SPEAK” album. Coming out of seemingly nowhere, its impact reached as far as becoming one of my top ten new acts of 2016. Travis Brooks (the man behind this solo project) is back again, repeating his fondness of surprise. I saw no mentions of Old Solar releasing any new material, and all of the sudden there’s a new EP on bandcamp, “Quiet Prayers”.
RELEASE DATE: 27 January 2017 LABEL: Self-released
“Quiet Prayers” as a whole is an aside for Old Solar. In the description of the album it states “Quiet Prayers was written as a collection of ambient lullabies for the benefit and enjoyment of the quiet moments, the still of early early morning, and the peace of solitude.” Travis Brooks ultimately made this for himself. It’s a deeply personal album, made obvious by its intimate production. You can hear every string plucked, every change in chords as his fingers run up and down the frets.
The melodies within these lullabies are clear and catchy, they remind me of the hymns I would sing in my youth at church, every Sunday. I find myself whistling these melodies to myself throughout the day. Even the track titles are a prayer. There is an ineffable peace to this album that transcends words.
The composition of each track is somewhat similar, with clean layered guitar tracks accompanied by waves of synths and percussion that mark each track. Despite the immense amount of ambience, the structure itself can be repetitive at times, but that repetition lends itself to calming yourself in those quiet hours of the early morning.
Every morning I wake up earlier than is required, so I can center myself before thrusting myself into the world and the job that stresses me so. I make my meals in silence, check on my friends via social media, eat, and listen to music. It’s the only time I have for any real in-depth listening. This past week has been so serene, having listened to “Quiet Prayers” every morning. This quiet EP isn’t strong by any means, but this album is worth the twenty minutes it asks for. Put aside some time from your morning routine and meditate on this. Travis Brooks will be back with another banger like “SPEAK” before you know it, and he’ll be back with a whole band. He’s teaming up with the guitarist and drummer from Charlotte, North Carolina’s Bombardier for the full-length album they hope to release sometime this year.