Hibernis – Middle Of The Meds

On Middle Of The Meds, a smooth, evocative electronica is coupled with a romanticized set of sighs and swoons. What started off as a meditative process in the quiet depths of Winter soon developed into something quite different for Hibernis (John Hughes and Lindsay Anderson), expanding and enlarging itself while still remaining true to its original purpose. Slowly, the pair began to construct an album with the aim of breaking away from the more song-oriented music they were already making.

Hughes hibernated inside the electronic music, using it as medicine during the silent stretches and month-long white-outs. The melodies nest and flourish within an independent electronic ecosystem, separated from the deadened world beyond the window while reflecting the blue character of the season and the whiplash of a colder temperature. The mechanized electronics whirl and clank, a brief dissection before its clock-face is reinserted, transforming into differing symmetrical shapes and working hard in spite of the background drone’s slumbering tempo.

Anderson’s vocals entwine themselves around the electronic music, splashing lightly against the drone with feminine paint. These mind-clearing tracks act as a punctuation in their discography, dividing music recently finished with what will come later. Improvisation is something many a vocalist would die for; she adds a set of lucid chants to the drowning drones. She added her freeing vocal enchantments to the slinking atmosphere on her very first listen, and this also helps to shape the flowing nature of the music: one take, one go, one outpouring of what felt right in the given moment. It feels pure and alive because of this, and her haunting echoes offer different creative outlets to song-writing’s more linear and formal constructions, following the music instead of trying to insert square, predetermined lyrics inside circular, droning patterns.

Her vocals hover in the air, sounding incorporeal but close… very close. ‘So What’ delves deep into a singular drone before bleeding into a lovely arpeggio. Her voice seems to be coaxing the arpeggio out of hiding – out of hibernation – and it rises up like a charmed cobra. Rather than being in constant competition, the benign sounds complement one another as the electronica moves into ever more exotic, hallucinatory terrain. The music is a mind-altering meditation, the kind that opens the third eye and cleanses a chakra.

The swaying tones help to shake off mental fatigue and its meditative offerings are better than a subscription to Headspace. But there is occasional turbulence, such as with the sandstorm of ‘Tempestuous’, where the vocal plummets like a subdued scream, an echo of a troubling thought. Older, 70s synths are also used, giving the music a distinctly retro and intentionally dated feel. With its generous offer, the music lingers long after the eyes blink open once again.

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