Random pick time again! From the list supplied by the editors, I have picked Hymn Binding by From the Mouth of the Sun.
From the Mouth of the Sun are comprised of Dag Rosenqvist & Aaron Martin, Hymn Binding is their third album and they have described it as (and I am quoting from their Bandcamp page here):
“An album that is teeming with all the soul-stirring character one has come to expect from their work together. The long form crescendos built from Martin’s mournful strings and vast array of acoustic instrumentation are a perfect complement to Rosenqvist’s delicate piano melodies, humming electronics, and waves of warm static.”
This is a big statement for any band, when albums are given this much hype by their own PR company, the resulting album sometimes struggles with those mighty words. However, it can also entice people, like moths to a flame. For me, I have no such pleasure or enticement, my only reason for reviewing this album is that I liked the name of the band. It is that deep, nothing more and nothing less. Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith, so here I am now….. entertain me.
When listening to this record, Hymn Binding must be listened to in one go.
You cannot cherry pick this record as each piece is intertwined with the next, like legion, it is many. Even naming “The Last to Forgive” as my favourite track feels wrong, as if I am besmirching the rest of the songs. The Hymn Binding is truly the sum of its parts, it is a complex beast made of many interlinking parts and they feel alien when removed from their host. It is an album that speaks of grey days, the weather turning that little bit colder and the atmospheric change towards winter. It perfectly fitted my mood, and the atmosphere of my city when I was reviewing it.
There is also an organic feeling to Hymn Binding, as if From the Mouth of the Sun have somehow managed to control nature.
This means that they have full access to their surrounding, as artists this is sometimes the most difficult part of creating an album. Each time I have listened to this album, its works best whilst moving around instead of sitting down to absorb it.
It suits the outdoors rather than the confines of the homestead or office place, coming alive whilst in the urban surroundings of my home town or the local park. The natural vibes require it to be out in the open, to engage with what you see out in the world. It is strangest thing I have experienced for a long time, but it is the best way to experience this album.
Due to these very specific set of circumstances, Hymn Binding is not something I would listen to often.
This is not to say it is not a good album, quite the opposite to be honest. Any album which can distract me from a morning commute and match my mood, will always going to be welcome in my record collection. It is something that is designed to help those few who will be receptive and that is a brave thing to release, it is not going to be for the great unwashed and that is fine.
You need music that is not of the norm, Hymn Binding is exactly that sort of album.
Whilst it is not something I would listen to as often as Oxbow or Waheela, it’s still beautiful. Alas, there is no excitement in my heart, no rushing needs for me to press repeat once again. I appreciate the work behind the album, the respect I have for From the Mouth of the Sun as musicians is immense and applaud their creation, but there is no love here. Hymn Binding is a good album overall, but you need the right circumstances to achieve nirvana.
Rating: 7/10 – This is good and worth checking out
Top track – “The Last to Forgive”