When I heard Portland, Oregon's Matthew Cooper create a somber score for the film “Some Days Are Better Than Others” back in June 2011, I was impressed. I hadn’t heard his main ambient music project Eluvium, and on his seventh full-length Nightmare Ending on Temporary Residence Ltd., he sounds fittingly introspective. It’s a double album that matches the mood I felt as I drove through a lightly falling blanket of snow: various electronic drones, piano and strings in meticulous arrangements create an incredibly rich, full and well-produced ambient sound. My favorites include piano-based songs such as the friendly, melodic “Caroling” and “Don’t Get Any Closer” (which sounds like it’s actually suggesting the opposite.) On the second disc, I particularly liked the grand room-filling “Chime” and, in probably my favorite, the richly flowing 80s-synth tapestry of “Covered In Writing.” Relaxing closer “Happiness” surprises with the album’s only vocals: Yo La Tengo’s Ira Kaplan provides some delicately delivered lyrics before the music transitions into with what sounds like a church organ, with radiance transitioning into drone and piano.
December 31, 2013