This is the second release from Tenneseean dreampop act Hammock. Fortunately for me, they like EvilSponge, so i get promos of their releases! Stranded Under Endless Sky contains four blissful tracks in 25 minutes.
The first tune, Stranded Under Endless Sky starts with a sample of train noises, and then layers of echoing guitar swell up around it. This is a very ambient piece, almost soundtracky, and has a feel that reminds me of the first Ulrich Schnauss release, although without the beats. (Then again, that connection might be a subconscious thing because of the "trains" connection.)
Birds Flying in Sequence is next, and i think this is the standout track here. It has a subtle rhythm that sounds like hand drumming, which is a nice accompaniment to their layers of rich guitar. This tune moves along languidly, generating a really nice haze. The whole song builds slowly over the course of it's almost 8 minutes, with the drumming growing in intensity and the guitars building to a frenzy of echoed distortion. Very lovely stuff.
After flipping the record over and marvelling at the fact that this music really works in a vinyl format, Hammock hit us with something a little different for them, a violin filled track titled Always Wishing You Were Somewhere Else. Adding a sawing violin melody to the Hammock guitar haze is a lovely thing, and it really works. However, at just over three minutes, this is also one of the shortest Hammock songs.
On An Empty Field Hammock continue their experiment with strings, here layering a deep cello drone along with the violin. This works really well, and the song comes off sounding like some otherworldy Godspeed tune. It's very lovely, and i would like to see Hammock do more along these lines.
Once again, Hammock have given us a really lovely release. If you enjoyed their debut album, or like ambient guitar music in general, then you definitely need this EP.
My question to Hammock is: why haven't they graced Atlanta with a show yet? It's not that far from Franklin, TN to Atlanta...