Will Samson A Baleia

Will Samson A Baleia
8
Switching gears from the electronic folk of his last release, Oxford's Will Samson uses treated tape loops and carefully curated guest performances to construct a gorgeous four-song EP awash in meticulously layered ambient warmth.
 
A Baleia ("the whale" in Portuguese) was reportedly inspired by Samson's time floating in a sensory deprivation tank, and that feeling of weightless tranquility absolutely comes across in the music. Gentle tones swell and eddy, chimes surf their way across the top of the mix and violin and trombone cut a languid path through the dense frequency waves, all with pristine clarity and precise balance.
 
Benoît Pioulard lends beautifully tone-sculpted, Daniel Lanois-esque guitar to "Brilhar," which could be called a standout if every single song on this mini-album wasn't so damn sublime. A perfect reminder of this is EP closer "Vozes Encontradas," which recalls early Broken Social Scene (or even K.C. Accidental for those long enough in the tooth to remember) at their instrumental ambient best, embracing the listener's ears with textural hugs of pure auditory magic.
 
This is essential listening for fans of ambient music and will surely be one of the best instrumental EPs of 2018. (Dauw)