Studiocanoe – Soothe
Posted In: Andy Gillham, Nomadic Kids Republic, Studiocanoe, Studiocanoe - Soothe, Temujin Doran
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Studiocanoe is the multi-faceted project of London based illustrator and film maker Temujin Doran and combines music, field recording, photography, illustration and film.
Here we concern ourselves with the music, but his excellent Tim Burton-esque illustrations and documentary films are also well worth a look via the links below.
“Soothe” is released on Ian Hawgood’s Japan based Nomadic Kids Republic label and features close mic’d vocals, acoustic guitar, gentle percussion and dark whimsicality.
The opening field recording of warm crackling flames sets the tone for the paradoxically entitled “Ossuary” where a sublime piano motif and guitar combination accompanies soft lyrics and gentle tapping rhythmic production.
“Cloves” juxtaposes heartbreaking yet dark lyrics against cheerful samples of children
playing, seagulls and acoustic guitar – ‘I breathe in tight and pray tomorrow – I’ll kill my lady of no sorrow’.
Without wishing to undermine the excellent vocal tracks, it’s the instrumentals in the second half of the release that work especially well for this writer – “Soothe” and “Discipline” are as uplifting as they are pensive, deftly balancing delicate piano against light drums and acoustic guitar.
“Adorn” makes liberal use of samples from birdsong to opera singers and it’s especially pleasing to hear a sheep baa loudly at one point – an event in sampling not heard by these ears since The KLF’s “Chill Out”.
Overall, Doran’s production works well in it’s ability to resist over complication and his closely mic’d front of mix vocals are as endearingly honest as they are pleasant on the ear.
Ian Hawgood describes his interest in releasing “music to drink tea to” – it’s fair to say that “Soothe” is well worth it’s weight in numerous teas across a lazy Sunday afternoon…
- Andy Gillham (@AndyEchaskech) for Fluid Radio
Doran’s excellent illustration examples: