The ensemble of friends calling themselves Every Gentle Air produce immaculately gentle songs on their second release, appropriately titled Part 2. Recorded in their hometown of Mansfield, Ohio at The Winter Ship studio, conductors Ryan and Nathan worked with musicians Caleb, Derek, Adam, Rob, Jeremiah, Jordan, Samantha, Joe, Pam, Steev, Daniel, David, Zack, Corey, and Megan. Surnames were not given. Nathan Phillips engineered the endeavor and crewman Rob Hemmick mastered and critiqued the project. The result is a delightful melange of twirling movements, delicately pitched serials, and melodically configured compositions. The album is indie pop at its highest level of musical creativity.
Described as “Music made by friends, for friends,” Part 2 has a vibe of camaraderie similar to that of The UK’s The Boy Least Likely To. With some country trimmed strings, pop induced keyboards, and brass sections, their songs construct an aquatic mobility. The combination of softly fluxed violins and dawdling keyboards on “Under Water, Under Ice” is networked into a pleasing ballet of sounds with elegant lines similar to Viva Voce and Caribou. And much like a ballet, these songs are works of art to be appreciated by spectators as they stimulate the senses on a higher plane.
The lightly tapping chimes on “Ba! Ba! Ba! Goes The Powerless City” have a playful sort of enchantment while the acoustic guitar laps on “All That Rise Must Converge” are playfully tossed in with a bass toned brass section. There is a gentle playfulness in the group’s songs, which gives them a childlike innocence and joy. “The Sower” and “Cathedral Bells And Cymbal Swells” keep in line with the duo’s concept of simple pleasures amounting from frolicsome instrument movements gently sprawled to form harmonious melodic textures. “In Media Res” is significantly more tense, with short breaths in the rapid piano notes, but still gently swaggering.
The tempo speeds up to an allegro pace on “Ann Arbor, Michigan,” but maintains its elegance and gentle poise. Most of the songs are instrumentals with a few that possess bristles of choruses like “They Will Be Filled.” The twirling violins on this selection have a Celtic lilt that enhances its fairy-like spring and angelic spark. The bluesy tone in the piano and horn motifs for “Luna” are lamenting and yet uplifting, spiritually. These songs have an ethereal quality, seemingly able to touch people metaphysically on a plane where all humans experience the same need for comfort. One can only imagine that this is what their music was intended to give to their friends in Mansfield. The final track “You Are There” is filled with comforting vocals interlacing the succor-knitted piano verses and lightly bellowing drum beats. The children’s choir at the ending adds to the album’s spiritual calm.
Every Gentle Air has a healing quality in their songs. The twining instrumental pieces are melodically indexed and move with the lightness of gently swirling winds. These songs are not earthbound but rise above the surface to a plane where only blissfulness resides. It’s escapist music and yet brings the listener in touch with a higher state of being. The songs take you some place where you would like to be, and want to stay.