Release Date: February 23rd
Eluvium is the long-running moniker of Matthew Cooper, one of the more prominent ambient artists verging on the mainstream indie scene. His previous records have always individually represented a committed departure from the aesthetic of their precursors, and Similes, from first glance, seems to be offering a similar commitment to artistic transformation.
2007’s Copia was a grandiose, even regal, affair, incorporating strings, woodwinds, brass and piano to exquisite effect. The two promo tracks made available from Similes, “Leaves Eclipse the Light” and “The Motion Makes Me Last”, sound rather more low-key, yet not too reminiscent of 2005’s evocative ambient-guitar project Talk Amongst the Trees. This isn’t true ambient music as such, but rather stands on the precipice of shoegaze, electronic and neo-classical. The appeal of the record isn’t diluted, however, and instead presents a remarkable testament to the encompassing talent of the musician. Interestingly, Similes incorporates vocals for the first time. It’s difficult to detect whether or not the additional presence of the voice (in contrast to the immersive instrumentals of previous records) will mean this can still be considered ‘ambient’ in any real sense. For better or for worse, Similes will undoubtedly be poles apart from anything Eluvium has released before. Such changeability offers a refreshing – if occasionally frustrating – contrast to the usual approach of ‘finding your sound’ and sticking with it, which, more often than not, simply leads to stagnation.
Download: “Leaves Eclipse the Light” and “The Motion Makes Me Last” – http://www.eluvium.net/