Maybe They Will Sing For Us Tomorrow is both a step forward and a step back for Tennessee-based Hammock. It's a step forward in that it's their most mature album to date; it's deeply moving, intricate in its detail, and gentle in its approach. As much as I love Hammock's work, I don't think it's an insult to their storied discography to suggest that this is clearly their best work to date.
In terms of musical ideas, Tomorrow eschews the formula of Raising Your Voice, Trying to Stop an Echo. That record felt a bit more "rock" in that the compositional style felt more traditional; it sounded like the work of a rock band. It was also not an instrumental work; several songs featured the words of Marc Byrd--haunting, melancholy words recalling the passing of a spiritual mentor. Instead, Tomorrow recalls The Sleepover Series, Volume 1 and Stranded Under Endless Sky--two EP's of deep ambient drones and melodies. Irony moment: it was not until last year that Hammock played a single live show. (I'm kicking myself for missing it--had I realized it, I would have been there!) Echo sounded like an experienced live band. The recording method for Tomorrow was inspired by their live performances, and was apparently recorded live.
Tomorrow amazes in its seamlessness; it flows so naturally, so organically, that you never notice when one song ends and another one begins. Heck, sitting down in front of my computer with it playing gently on iTunes, I still can't recognize the seams without looking. This seamlessness is what makes the record so utterly beautiful; it is a restful head-trip. In my restless nights, I've turned this record on, and have used it as a cure for insomnia. At one point, I woke up from it feeling refreshed from what felt like a few hours' sleep, only to find the record was just coming to an end! A deep rest in less than 45 minutes--that's value for dollar, my friend.
Ultimately, though, it's with great honor that I say that Maybe They Will Sing For Us Tomorrow is one of the best albums of 2008. A more beautiful album, I have yet to hear...
Listen To: "This Kind of Life Keeps Breaking Your Heart"
Maybe They Will Sing For Us Tomorrow is available now via Darla
Labels: Darla Records, hammock, reviews h