Alex Stooshinoff’s debut release as Living Room is an ambitious combination of sounds that that explores the wide world of nature while sounding familiar as a cozy living room fireplace. The six songs on the release bleed together seamlessly and come with an accompanying full-length video that combines images of animals and trees with swirling overlaid kaleidoscopes.
Opener “Archangel” begins with found sound conversations, layering over each other to create the feeling of being alone in a crowded place, throngs of people moving around you. A growing drone, an air conditioner hum, grows steadily as the visuals of distorted colours and paint brush stroke stretch and appear.
When the guitar of “Moths” strums in, the visual immediately switches to a soft-focus moss-covered tree, a not-so-subtle indication that this is the organic sounding part of the record. As deer stare through the screen, Stooshinof sings of accepting existence: “Always looking for something to reach, and yet the point is simply to be.”
The most haunting moment of the release is “Severed”, composed solely of a cappella notes sung by voices separated by which headphone they feed into. The visual is of darkly-filtered eagles, who at one point widen their beaks and appear to be the ones singing. It’s a bit surreal, and incredibly entertaining.
The album continues alternating between sweetly-sung folk songs and thoughtful ambient pieces, which beautiful visuals to go along with it. “Stasis” shows pinecones masquerading as cocoons set to lyrics about persistent thoughts of another, and “Pillars” shows coloured ink blots, rainbow octopus trails, with sparkling and slow instrumentals.
By the time the guitar kicks back in on “Balance”, it’s clear that this is an album capable of releasing a sense of wonder.
Top Tracks: “Severed”, “Moths”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)