A bird chirps outside the window, someone coughs in the next room, an ambulance blares far off in the distance: usually these sounds would interrupt the process of intently listening to a piece of music but with Hammock these newly-found sounds sink in to the mixture, becoming an almost integral part of the composition. If pop music inspires one to sing in the shower, Hammock might incline you to voluntarily listen to the way your refrigerator hums.
Although these song titles have a penchant for verbosity (“This Kind of Life Keeps Breaking Your Heart”, “City in the Dust on My Window”), this is the only tendency toward maximalism that the group displays. They credit a woman named Christine Glass Byrd with vocals on the track “Gold Star Mothers”, but good luck finding them – they seem to dissipate into the song like those aforementioned bird chirps. In fact, it’s not until a cello enters mid-way through track four, “Mono No Aware”, that we are introduced to something resembling (how should I say this?) well, notes.
The only problem with They Will Sing for Us Tomorrow is that it leaves one looking for something more to grasp on to—and the fact that the disc stretches past 60 minutes doesn’t help this fact. I’m not suggesting that the outfit add a simple dub beat, or something sinister like that, the music actually stand pretty well on its own. It’s just that there are only a small class of people (yoga-gurus?) would might actually want to sit through the entire 61 minutes of these atmospheric angel droppings.
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// Notes from the Road
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