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Departure Songs

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Album Review

If Hammock's fifth album is something of an extension and consolidation of their past work — if nothing else there's a definite sign of increased ambitions with its two CDs' worth of music — it's also a flat-out triumphant one, recorded with the assistance of Tim Powles, who guested with his Church bandmate Steve Kilbey on the previous year's Asleep in the Downlights. Whatever post-rock has become as a signifier — in the case of Hammock, it's a question of just how beautifully crushing they can make an ambient shoegaze blissout release in their particular vein — the duo of Marc Byrd and Andrew Thompson knows exactly what to do. Singling out exact moments or songs is a bit of a trick, in that few albums in a relentlessly single-song era are conceived so clearly as a unified listen, one track following another as a further setting of mood and pace. But the songs with vocals in particular, are a new turn for the band, and push the feelings of exultant melancholy to the fore — little surprise they have titles like "Ten Thousand Years Won't Save Your Life," "(Let's Kiss) While All the Stars Are Falling Down," and "(Tonight) We Burn Like Stars That Never Die." It's romantic adolescence and what follows to the nth degree, but the blended vocals of the duo, as well as guest singer Christine Glass Byrd, do the trick for them each time. Meanwhile, if "(Leaving) the House Where We Grew Up" is only a penultimate number instead of the epic all-around closer it feels like, it's still perfectly momentous in context.

Customer Reviews

Haunting

A beautiful and emotive masterpiece from a band that sets the bar ever higher with each new release. This album evokes feelings of love and loss, hope and despair, longing and fulfillment. A perfect album for a brand new season.

This album is Hammock's best to date!

I have always been a fan of Hammock ever since I heard their first album, Kenotic, in 2005. I have to say, I believe that Departure Songs is their best release to date. The sounds and textures are so very good, and I love the increased incorporation of strings into the mix. Regarding this album, someone recently said on Twitter that ambient music is a battle of organism versus structure, and Hammock has again found the middle ground, the sweet spot where the two mix and just click. The sound is so... BIG. It's hard to explain, but if you listen to this album, you'll understand; it's a very full sound that swells and seems to wrap around you. The songs are at the same time sad and hopeful; it's so beautiful. Keith Kenniff's contributions on track 4, "Artificial Paradises," works so well with the Hammock sound, especially with Matt Slocum's cello. The entire album has moments like this where you think "that is perfect." This is a great album for a late night, a rainy day, or just driving alone in your car. Every listening session, I enjoy the album more and more. Go grab this one - you won't be disappointed.

Can't stop listening

Went on a late night autum walk through my city and this was the soundtrack playing in my head.as I looked at the buildings the people the sky the stars this music spoke to it all.tragic yet hopeful,fallen yet waiting to be redeemed.i also have glass byes and common children which Marc was involved in ,good stuff,but this cd is just off the charts

Biography

Formed: 2004 in Nashville, TN

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

A duo whose ambient soundscapes have drawn comparisons to artists like Boards of Canada and Sigur Rós, Hammock formed in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2004. The duo was originally conceived by Marc Byrd and Andrew Thompson, who were both former members of the band Common Children. Hammock released their debut full-length, Kenotic, on their eponymous label in 2004; The Sleepover Series, Vol. 1 followed one year later. Hammock's profile was heightened in 2006 during the Winter Olympics when NBC played several...
Full Bio
Departure Songs, Hammock
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