In the Sudden Distance represents just about everything I love about Behan’s work. It’s perfect gloomy day music: ambient without being sleep-inducing, full of subtle energy, and very, very pretty.
He makes interesting use of high-frequency tones, glitch, and what I call “plink-plonk” – the sounds you would get if pianos were made of raindrops. But don’t get me wrong, this is not happy pixie music. Its darkness outweighs its light, giving just enough anchor to tracks that might otherwise have floated away.
Jimmy Behan is one of those artists I kind of discovered accidentally. I had a couple of his releases on my hard drive, but they were mixed in with a lot of other things I’d downloaded at approximately the same time, so I didn’t really notice they were there. Then occasionally a track would pop up on shuffle, and I’d think, this is great, who is this? I’d look at the name, and nine times out of ten it would be Jimmy Behan.
Track titles of Behan’s pieces reflect a depth of thought that one doesn’t always get on ambient releases. “Box of Broken Things,” a mixture of glitch and harp, is a great sonic description of what it’s like to be searching through ephemera on a gray Sunday in November. Tracks like “Cathedral” have more of an exploratory feel to them, while the last track, “From a Height,” leaves the listener with equal amounts of nostalgia and foreboding.
I love everything about this EP, from the artwork right down to the sonic and visual presentation. If you’ve got a dark winter weekend ahead of you and you’re looking to set the mood, you could certainly do a lot worse than putting on this set of songs on while you sit and drink your tea.
This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.
- Written by Melissa
- Published on February 8, 2010