One of the little joys an avid music listener anticipates is the next band/album that is going to affect him or her in such a way, that it cannot be explained completely with words. Sure, they can make an attempt explaining why an album is "so good," but there is just something alien to dialogue that strikes a "chord" (pun intended) in their heart-soul (that's a "Hamlet 2" reference, and if you got it, bravo).
For me, that band was, and still is, The Black Atlantic. My obsession began when I watched an EPK/promo, complete with an interview and a live performance of "Fragile Meadow" at Culture Clash Records in my hometown of Toledo, OH.
Check out that clip here:
Rooted in Groningen, Netherlands, The Black Atlantic blends together acoustic folk, pop, and ambience in such a way that it feels like their songs are the perfect lullabies for adults. Hearing the waves of vocal harmonies, graciously peppered through each beautiful track on 2009's Reverence For Fallen Trees, are akin to the world throwing the most comforting blanket over you, kissing you on the forehead, and saying, "Hush now, my sweet. Everything is going to be just fine."
Underneath the caress of the melodies, the minimal percussion softly pulses through the speakers like a faint heartbeat, ever so delicately, to give the listener an extra sense of solace.
2012 saw the release of their EP, Darkling, I Listen. Appropriately titled, the album carries a darker tone than Reverence For Fallen Trees. Though acoustic at many points on the record, this release has more of a "rock" feel, but never exceeds The Black Atlantic's soothing nature introduced on the previous album.
With more electric instrumentation, and the drums being more in the forefront on the songs, Darkling, I Listen. contains a more straight-forward production, yet stands as another peaceful offering from the group.
With their latest EP, Enshrine, Lead vocalist/songwriter of The Black Atlantic, Geert van der Velde, returns with a swift, but gorgeous record. After shedding his hardcore background (Shai Hulud) and becoming a force of nature on his own with the birth of The Black Atlantic, Geert now goes with a “bare bones” approach this time around, with pristine results, I might add.
Recorded live, in a 13th century-era church, armed only with an acoustic guitar and his voice, the calm begins again. When the first chord of "Haul" hit my ears, I had that same feeling of the "comfort blanket" root itself in my heart. it out and see if you agree.
Here’s the song “Haul” from Enshrine
Find out more at http://theblackatlantic.com
John Wallace Kneip is coming up on his sixth year of teaching guitar, bass, drums, piano, and band coaching around the metro D.C. area. He enjoys the quiet suburban life with his wife, Siberian Husky, and two cats (all named after "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" characters). John is currently in pre-production for his third solo record under the moniker, NASAwives. Find out more at http://www.thebandcoach.org
"Music is the language of mankind...speak loudly."