giovedì 22 marzo 2012

Hollow Branches - Okanagana Waves (2012)

Okanagana Waves è l'album d'esordio del duo composto da Robert Osgood (voce, chitarra, sound design, testi) e Marius Sjøli (tastiere, chitarra, voce, sound design) sotto il nome Hollow Branches. Le tinte di Okanagana Waves sono molto dark e autunnali ed è un album al quale conviene avvicinarsi con il giusto stato d'animo. Non mancano sonorità suggestive date dall'incontro tra folk ed elettronica, mentre le brumose e depresse armonie vocali rimandano al prog scandinavo dei Landberk e agli spazi ambient rock degli Anathema. I toni cerimoniali di alcuni brani come Travelers e Pareidolia possono far pensare anche la psichedelia dei tardi anni '60, quando i Pink Floyd iniziavano a muovere i primi passi. Quella degli Hollow Branches è un'estetica bucolica tutt'altro che idilliaca che verrebbe quasi da catalogare come folk doom.

Hollow Branches first full length album, "Okanagana Waves" is now available digitally at
A beautiful limited edition digipak with an 8 page booklet and professionally duplicated CD has also just been released.

Introduced via their record label, Audio Savant, in 2005, Robert Osgood and Marius Sjøli quickly realized their shared musical vision. A short while later they began collaborating on Robert’s recently minted project, Hollow Branches. In 2009, with the assistance of Jason Walton (Agalloch) on bass, Hollow Branches released the “Words are Fire” and “Anchored in Sleep” EPs, with a short 10 month gap between releases. Both self-released EPs were downloaded hundreds of times and received favorable reviews in publications such as Scratch the Surface, The Dreaded Press, and Absolute Zero.

Writing for their first full length album, “Okanagana Waves”, began immediately following
completion of “Anchored in Sleep,” with primary recording wrapping in July 2010 when Robert travelled to Norway to track vocals and guitar at Sjøli Studio. While ten songs were written, only seven made the final cut. The music was kept comparatively sparse, with less overdubs and tracks used than on the two previous EPs. A year passed before bass was finally recorded, with Mathew Kennedy (Phideaux) lending his talents, and bringing an entirely new element to the sound. Featured on the title track, is T.E. Moore, of the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, who provided a recording of an Okanagana Bella cicada, he made in the field in 1965. The cicada features prominently in the albums audio/visual aesthetic.

Musically, “Okanagana Waves” takes influence from progressive rock, dark ambient, and neo-folk, while exploring themes as diverse as anxiety, skepticism, and the indifferent beauty of nature.

Video preview from 4 of the albums 7 tracks can be found here:

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