Landing are heading out on tour this summer, and to celebrate they have released an EP on cassette that they will sell only at shows. Fortunately the band sent me a preview download.
The first track is Page by Page. It is eight and a half minutes of noodling ambience, what the band refer to as "deep tryyps". After three minutes a slow hi-hat hit comes in, a gentle tapping as the guitars grind away and the keyboard soars in that 1970s sound that i associate with Tangerine Dream and Vangelis. At about the four minute mark, the drums become more forceful and a song forms, Aaron Snow strumming a lovely little melody, and Adrienne Snow singing faintly, barely heard over the guitars. It's slow, echoed, and kind of poppy, in a distorted dreamy kind of way. I like the way the song evolves, like it formed out of a primordial ooze of noodling and ambience.
The next tune is called Tape and is a mere 4:20 long (although one has to wonder if a band so prone to ambient and noodling exploration chose that number on purpose). The guitar trills in layers, one slowly echoed and dreamy, and one just keeping a faint melody, as drums tap, keys wander, and Adrienne sings through echo. The guitar here reminds me more of the stuff they did on Seasons in that the delicateness of the guitar playing seems almost folky, but the overall structure of the song is typical Landing, more ambient than folk.
Song three is Together and is less than four minutes long. And it is even poppier, the band playing a slow dreampop tune, Adrienne’s voice clearer and Aaron playing a charming little riff that reminds me of Adorable or one of those early 1990s shoegaze bands. This is an amazing song, a sheerly poppy, catchy tune. One of the poppiest things that Landing have ever done.
The whole EP has a neat flow to it: starting in ambient haze and slowly becoming faster (or maybe less wandering, it's not like they end up with a speed metal song!) and poppier. Adrienne's voice also slowly comes into focus as the album grows.
I like it. I like it a lot. I like the way the album grows as it progresses. I like that in three songs and just over sixteen minutes Landing show us so many different things, so many different types of songs. And i like that they keep it all interesting.
But i am kind of a Landing-fanboy, so your mileage may vary. I understand that the four minutes of ambient noodling that kicks off the EP is not everyone's thing. But still, Together is a great tune that really moves along with a wonderful toe-tapping beat.