Landing's latest full length album is more of a single symphony than five separate tracks; Brocade is not a song-based album but one long continuous work. The music unwinds at a leisurely pace and is best appreciated all in one sitting.
Brocade is largely instrumental (only "How to be Clean" has any
vocals) and is bathed in analog synthesizers with lots of guitar
effects. There's an unmistakable '70s prog rock sound going on and the
pure synths on "Music for Three
Synthesizers" are very '80s sounding to me, but Landing keeps it modern
fresh, without playing like they're simply digging up old rock
corpses. The music is hypnotic, repetitive, and layered, but by no
means dull or heavy.
Despite the building layers it has a very open and
spacious feel, a feel which is reinforced by titles like "Loft" and
"Yon," bringing up images of empty skies and vast distances (echoed as
well in the rather barren landscape on the album's cover).
"Spiral Arms" is similarly well-named; if you could put a galaxy
into sound, it might just sound like this. The static buzz carried over
from "Yon" gives way to delicate acoustic guitar and electronic swoops
and blowing winds. "How to be Clean" is a rocker and adds
enough movement and energy to the mix to keep this guitar-rock girl
I found it difficult to listen to Brocade at work; in
addition to the usual cube farm noise and coworker interruptions,
Winamp's pauses between tracks made the transitions jarring, most
notably between "Yon" and "Spiral Arms" and between "Spiral Arms" and
"How to be Clean." This is one to listen to at home with a glass of
wine in a darkened room or on a long lonely car trip, and it's
certainly not one for the iPod Shuffle.