I really like the Connecticut-based band Landing.
They are a mostly psychedelic band, blending ambeint soundscapes
with a certain poppishness. This is EP is their most ambient
work of late. In a time when they seem to be moving more towards
pop music, this is an odd "between albums" release.
It is about 40 minutes long, and consists of 5 tracks. Doing
the math, that averages 8 minutes per track. About right for
Landing, but long by conventional standards. And of course,
in keeping with my own personal
traditions, i have to ask, "Does a 40 minute release really
deserve to be called an EP? Isn't 40 minutes, by definition,
an LP?" Well, Landing call it an EP, so i guess we will go with
Aside from the length, the music here is also sparser than
the music on their previous release, Seasons,
which came out a mere 5 months before Fade In Fade Out
EP. This EP is also sparser than the tunes Landing did
for the New Found Land
tryptych, released a mere 4 months after this EP. In fact, based
on those two releases i would have said that Landing are moving
in a "less ambient, more pop" direction. Instead,
well, i dunno. Maybe those two releaes are anomolies.
Anyway, the 5 tracks here are slow, and for long stretches
consists of guitar tinkling along all on its own. It's really
beautiful and delicate music, entirely typcial of Landing, yet
so unlike the other stuff i have heard from them lately.
The "EP" starts out with Forest Ocean Sound,
a tune of guitar ambience in that unique Landing style. The
intro is very long and achingly slow, a haze of very subtle
guitar and keyboard. Slowly, the guitar swells up, just like
a Landing song should.
It fades out slowly, and Against The Rain comes in,
with drone, scattered percussion, and guitar under masses of
echo. This song actually builds to some of the loudest moments
on the EP, but in general it is light, and features some really
light vocals, almost lost in the mix. (In fact, for a while
i thought this song was instrumental, until a closer listen
on headphones revealed the vocals obscured here.)
If Against The Rain is a light but loud song, then Constellations
is a quieter, darker song. Not dark as in a spooky sense, but
dark as in that feeling of loneliness and insignificance one
gets when looking up at a sky lit by myriads of stars and you
realize how small you are in the scheme of things. (Landing
must live in a relatively rural area, because in my suburban
Atlanta home that feeling is rarely evoked, just because the
sky is never that dark.) Anyway, Landing evoke this feeling
with a bare hint of percussion that reminds me of small chirping
insects, keyboard tones that seem to shoot past you, and guitar
wailing slowly, the notes drawn out and long. Eventually a rustic
acoustic guitar jons in the fun, and the song meanders in smallness.
It is a very well done ambient tune.
The next track is Whirlwind which features the slow,
cymbal heavy drumming that Landing do so well. (Kudos to drummer
Daron Gardner.) The guitars are echoed so much that they form
a mass not unlike a fog bank on the scottish moors. They are
dense and everywhere, surrounding you in sound. Adrienne Snow
sings quietly, like she is a small girl lost in the fog. This
is a nice track, my favorite on this EP, and sure to join the
ranks of my favorite Landing songs.
And things are all wrapped up with Pulse, which is a
typical guitar echo and drone piece. It is one of Landing's
deep space journey's where strange noises float by you as you
drift, slowly and peacefully. A nice, ambient end to this journey.
Really, this is a lovely "EP". If you are not so keen on the
spacier work of Landing, then this might not be for you. Fans
of space rock, however, will enjoy this tremendously. And i
guess we will have to wait and see what Landing do next, in
order to see the direction they are going to go in. I have to
admit, the uncertainty makes it fun. Keep it up, Landing.