Alaskan Tapes-“Views from Sixteen Stories”: Album Review

Brady Kendall, under the moniker Alaskan Tapes, composes music based on his surroundings. Whether the format is a single, an EP, an LP or a soundtrack for film, one thing is certain, his music will intrigue and spellbound the listener. Kendall describes his latest long player “Views From Sixteen Stories”… originally thought of from a place of very little inspiration. After finishing two other projects pretty much back to back I was left with minimal ideas, so I simply started listening to music again. I was listening to post-rock very heavily, which made me want to make something in the same vein, but still have all the benefits of an ambient album (long tracks, minimal composition, etc.) This is the product of that mindset, a collection of minimal compositions, drawn-out patterns, and drones wherever they will fit.”

“Views From Sixteen Stories” is comprised of eleven tracks of varying degrees of ambience.  

Opening the album is “Oh Seeker” a prelude of sorts that is gorgeous in sound and peaceful in feel leads to the acoustic guitar and piano featured melody, dreamy layers of synths and drums is a stunner and one of the album’s highlights. “And Yet They Float” reverts back to a minimalist feel featuring synth layers and piano. “Lift Me (Somehow)” is another piece gorgeous piano melody writing. Melancholic indeed, simply to leave you hanging for the next track, “Another Song To Stop The Spinning,” takes on a darker soundscape with lots of space and a hint of Sci-fi . 

Halfway through to track six, “Still (featuring Yoga)” brings back the piano along with a brass line in a minute and half of perfect harmony.” And, “We Disappear” features dark and bright layers that alternate in prominence. If you listen closely, you’ll hear the brilliant placement of the upper octave piano strokes below the layers of the blissful melody. 

“Views From Tower Two,” “Pretend,” “Views From Sixteen Stories” and “Before Sinking” wrap up the album in similar fashion. 

“Views From Sixteen Stories” displays very fine ambient music composed by Kendall.  Blissful, melancholic, minimal and moody paint the overall canvas of sounds represented throughout the eleven-track album. 

Following his homeland recognition (Canada’s 2018 Juno Awards for “Best Video of the Year”- “Place”) along with numerous film placements, adds to reputable and popular Spotify playlists bring instant creditability placing a bright spotlight on the prolific young ambient music composer. 

—JOSEPH ARTHUR

Views From Sixteen Stories _ Front Art 1500px

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