The Album Leaf’s In An Off White Room has a soothing sparseness to it, giving it a strange mix of natural beauty and otherworldliness. On this four song EP, beauty seems to be the true preoccupation, and each of the songs merge into something that is delightfully more atmosphere than music.
Beginning with the bright “Project Loop”, the appreciation for both nature and the modern world are evident, as the combination of drum loops, acoustic instruments, and natural sounds come together to create music. With the gentle sound of rainfall on “Glisten” and the organic percussion on “Six A.M.”, In An Off White Room‘s dreamy quality is sedating without ever becoming dull.
“Off White Room” is definitely the centerpiece of this EP. At a little under a half-hour in length, there’s an extended period of birds singing and cars traveling in the distance. By removing the focus on the creation of music and placing it on the music that is occurring around us all the time, The Album Leaf has produced an interesting musical project in In An Off White Room.
Still, the sparseness also is one of In An Off White Room‘s disadvantages. About seven minutes into “Off White Room”, all music stops and sadly gives the impression of being one of those nature sounds tapes. Experimentation is always a good thing in music, but who really wants to pay money listen to almost 20 minutes of virtual silence with a few real world sounds thrown in? You can hear the same thing by opening your window for free.
But what is here on In An Off White Room is good, including the somewhat silly hidden track at the end of “Off White Room”, which has seemed to take its cues from the new wave dance songs of the ‘80s. It is a bit out of place, but it is still a treat to listen to.
Ultimately, The Album Leaf’s In An Off White Room is pleasant and soothing, and its goals seem admirable. It doesn’t necessarily add up into music worth listening to repeatedly, but it’s at least noteworthy.
// Notes from the Road
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