I’ve been listening to this for the last week or so pretty much solidly, so I thought it was about time I justified such wanton appreciation with a little text to elaborate on just why it’s so great. I’ve only had a few tracks from Eluvium before from the album ‘Talk Amongst the Trees‘, which in it’s own right is a very good album, but it’s a little too ambient, mostly compromised of long drawn out repeats and refrains accompanied by a low hum of background noise. ‘Copia‘, on the other hand, is an entirely different beast.
The album builds up from it’s mostly ambient roots by using muted strings that slowly evolve into a fully fledged orchestra. The sound at the beginning of ‘Seeing You Off The Edges’ is almost akin to waves running up the shore, slow chords played to maximum effect to eek every last drop of emotion out of you. I think this is the precise reason I love ambient so much; that it just tends to move you. Perhaps this is the precise reason I’ve been listening to this album so much over the past few days, in that it does this particular thing very, very well.
After the first few tracks, the album shifts in tone from progressive ambiance onto a whole new feel. I often think of ambient music as the classical genre of the modern day, but here Eluvium almost revert entirely to the height of orchestra, especially with ‘Prelude for Time Feelers’, a song that starts out with a startlingly pretty piano melody that is slowly accompanied by strings and the slightest hint of drums. The notes seem almost plucked out of the air, with a slight pause in the playing that serves to accentuate the delicacy of the piece. However it’s when the strings kick in that the whole thing moves up a notch, causing you to just close your eyes and let it wash over you.
Another gem in the album is ‘Reciting the Airships’, similarly led by the piano, but in a far more contemporary style, placing much more emphasis on the strings, so much so that when they kick in they almost drown out the piano, leaving it merely another instrument in the vast wash of strings. If this is sounding a little like the description for ‘Prelude for Time Feelers’, then that’s because the album is vastly similar, but it progresses in a way that doesn’t feel repetative or samey.
The album finishes off with ‘Repose in Blue’, a track that builds to a crescendo accentuated by the crash of cymbals and drums, and the rousing feeling of the song lends itself well to a final track, a summation of all the parts the preceding tracks bring together. In a way, that is how the whole album feels; like a summation of parts. From the leading tracks focusing on the strings, to the next few bringing in the piano to the slow amalgamation of the two, the whole of ‘Copia’ feels almost rejuivinating, the chords and melodies seemingly chosen for thier major overtones and warming sound.
Overall, I think, along with ‘Stars of the Lid‘, Eluvium represent the very best of ambient based music, ensuring that you remain moved by the subtle changes in chord sequence and the power of the strings, if you can stomach listening to something without lyrics for an hour at a time.