Kennebec Departure
06 10

Kennebec Departure Night Time Stories

Throughout his career, composer and producer Eric Phillips has written music for feature films, nature documentaries and national parks. Although his Kennebec project sits outside of his work as a soundtrack composer, you can still hear the cinematic, widescreen vision he’s perfected. Fittingly, the album’s genesis begins with Phillips’ relocation from New York City to the idyllic Olympic Peninsula. The result has the quality of being a score to an imagined film, an ode to the beauty and solace he found in the Pacific Northwest, to its sweeping landscapes and lush rainforests.

There’s a hushed euphoria to the whole record; it’s a dreamy, glistening soundscape where classical guitar, ngoni, kalimba, piano, flutes and more weave in and out of the light, with subtle electronic touches and nods to Balkan-influenced sounds. It is, ultimately, a record that is as much about texture as it is about melody.

On single Seasons Change Phillips sounds like early Four Tet, possessed of the same stuttering, wistful quality of My Angel Rocks Back and Forth. Wellspring and Yesterday, Tomorrow are beautifully delicate moments of introspection countered by soaring strings, while A Monsoon sounds just like that – an exhilarating deluge of sound. Sure, there are moments, most notably on Kalahari, when it can feel a little too much like incidental music for a nature documentary, but for the most part this is a record that paints images of picturesque views and idyllic vistas. Incredible scenes, as they say.