David Ross Lawn | Songs of the Sun
Family Average: 6/7
Hey remember that weird machine that was in your parent’s house? It was mostly used to put picture frames on top of, and even came with an uncomfortable chair with no back that you could sit on. Well it turns out that that machine was a Piano (pēˈanō). Some people know how to play them! One of those people is David Ross Lawn. What did the family think of this Piano player?
Listen along on Spotify and read on to find out:
It’s kind of bold to release an album dedicated to a single instrument because it yields some pretty high expectations. But woah, does this album do it right. Putting on headphones and turning up the volume is the best way to experience this one. Closing yourself off from the outside world, you get submerged into this kind of dreamy, cinematic soundscape. Each score has an impressive narrative quality; they float, build into heady arcs, and somehow soothe you. The moments of imperfection -- too much pedal or where he gets a bit heavy handed -- make it feel more like a live performance than a record, more authentic somehow. At the very least, you have to appreciate the heart that went into this -- it’s a clear labor of love. When you can feel the deep level of care and energy that an artist puts into their work, that’s just magic.
This album’s got a clear and calm feel to it. I could see the first one playing over a year time-lapse of some picturesque scene like a lake under a mountain with forests. There are some change-ups from time to time in regards to energy, and while this can sometimes make it feel cluttered, it works for the most part. “Flying, Floating, Falling” was aptly named. The way it moved up and down did convey a floaty feeling, like being caught on the wind. It builds up and then falls down. “Sanctuary” was probably the most calming of them, it was mellow and comforting. But the last song is kinda more of the same, as I didn’t even realize when the tracks changed over. I did notice though that there was some occasional interference in the audio recording. Like taps or things being moved. It kinda takes you out of it, but they didn’t sound intentional.
Overall it’s some nice easy listening. Nothing spectacular, but with piano albums like this it’s not about being flashy.
Oh my word, what a lovely opportunity to just close your eyes and fall back into the abyss. My phone continued to warn me that high volumes may cause ear damage, but I did not care. I cranked this puppy up so loud my eyes started to vibrate, and the world turned into slow motion. I know this all might sound like hyperbole, but I just had my morning coffee so excuse the excitement. I also have not had a chance to listen to some classy ambient music in a long time. Musical acts like this make me draw connections to bands like, Nils Frahm, A Winged Victory For The Sullen, and Kiasmos (minus all the kick drum). That being said, I don’t want it to come off like Lawn does not have his own voice in his music. Because that is for sure not the case. He has definitely got his own thing going on in there. For starters, relying solely on the one instrument, but still being able to make the energy swell and taper, is a real treat for me. And then there’s the lovely kind of repetitive nature sort of like an earworm kind of thing. The start of each track will be the most comfortable thing you have heard all day, and the repetitive nature of the songs work in its favor. It gets to the point that you are kinda bummed when they end. Please Mr. Lawn, let me hang around the next time you practice. That would be neat.
In the middle of a busy day, in an even busier week, I turned on David Ross's Songs of the Sun and everything just seemed to feel alright. While it's got sun in the name, it kinda felt like a snowy car ride home from the holidays (probably because I'm writing this on November 30th). Each track was never too long and never too intense. My favorite was the appropriately titled "Flying Floating Falling." What a great name, what a great collection of feelings, even without lyrics I could dig it! This album feels like a great thing to throw on as ambient music (i.e. in a Brielle Yoga class?), or perhaps as a soundtrack to an upcoming film about family and togetherness and emotion and all that.
An interesting compilation of instrumentals. He struck me as a beautifully talented composer and artist. I could see myself listening to this to relax, as well as something to lift your spirits, depending upon the track. I am not always fond of reviewing straight instrumental pieces, however, I often find myself really enjoying them. This was the case here. "Rising" would probably be my favorite track. I loved the ebb and flow of this song. It was an extremely well-rounded selection. I give this album a
All one fluid gorgeous piece of music.
Movie score worthy.
Beautiful, heartbreaking, tragic, and wonderful.