Review of Harp Swells [12k2059]

Electronic Sound (UK)

Known for more contemporary pastoral folk, this is Will Samson’s first full-length ambient album. Recorded in Alameda, Portugal, where the British musician now lives, Harp Swells stretches period instrumental and technological elements – a bamboo flute, a 1970’s portable tape recorder called a UHER 4200 – into pieces filled with wide-eyed wonder. Vocals only appear on the relatively brief but central “And Yet,” providing a strong emotional undercurrent. Stitched together into a whole with six movements, there’s a brightness here that’s extremely appealing.

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