Published Sep 18, 2015Following Evening Hymns' extensive tour supporting 2013's celebrated Spectral Dusk, core member and songwriter Jonas Bonnetta took some time off to visit Joshua Tree to get his head straight. Spectral Dusk, their sophomore album, was written at a tumultuous time for Bonnetta, whose father had recently passed; most of the material on that album addressed that experience, and the accompanying two-year tour meant that Bonnetta relived the loss night after night.
Evening Hymns' new album, Quiet Energies, was written after the tour ended and represents Bonnetta moving forward. The record is the first on new label Outside Music, and was recorded over the course of a couple of weeks with engineer James Bunton (Diamond Rings, Ohbijou) in Bonnetta's home studio in rural Ontario.
Addressing the material on the album, has Bonnetta explained that, "I had been listening to so much Tom Petty on that [Joshua Tree] trip, and it kind of came to me that this record was a journey. A road trip album. A driving album." The rambling motif behind the lyrics is clear, and it resonates through the expansive synths and the reverb-soaked guitar riffs. The progression of the songs creates momentum from opener "If I Were a Portal" to fourth track "Rescue Teams." Although one of the most candid songs on the album, fifth track, "Oh Man You'll Walk Again and Again" peaks with a built-up distorted solo and lamentably recedes with a minute-long ambient outro of soft picking. It's a prolonged lull in the album that is duplicated on the outro of following track "Connect the Lines."
"All My Life I Have Been Running" reignites the pistons briefly, and though it's a little too late to get the motor running again, there is thoughtfulness even in these uneventful gaps, most aptly expressed on final track "Light as a Feather." Beginning in silence, the momentous stillness is punctuated by gentle strings that are eventually joined at the three-minute mark by Bonnetta's soft voice and accompanying acoustic guitar.
As he sings, "Light as a feather, I cut that tether / I'm floating away," one gets the feeling that whatever was sought on that musical road trip has led Bonnetta to a point of serenity; with the final contemplative silence and the fading of post-punk synth it would seem he has found a little bit of closure. (Outside)