Russ Young – ‘Cloak’


Russ Young‘s Cloak is a beautiful ambient album inspired by the environment surrounding the Western Lake District in Cumbria, UK. “Musically, my main strategy for Cloak was to work with groupings of processed samples and improvi-sations made over a long period of time,” Young explains. The result is riveting, abundant with haunting spacious soundscapes that linger with contemplative, sunset-friendly qualities.

Cloak unfolds with patient, tactful precision. The opening “Clara” compels with a glimmering assortment of aquatic-feeling drip-drops and gentle keys, resembling the feeling of emerging from a radiant pool of water as sunshine gently kisses your skin. The subsequent “Chancel of Living Trees” evokes ample intrigue with its enveloping layering alongside bird-chirping, akin to a stroll in the park in the mid-day afternoon. The album initially resembles awakening in its use of aquatic-like textures and nature sounds, enjoyably enticing with an accessible relatability.

Beyond, a ghostlier presence is evident on “You Don’t Know,” whose soft pulsations and more melancholic melody signal a shift into darker, forlorn territory. Echoed hints of vocal samples, like at 03:43, sound like echoes from a yearned-for past. Similarly, “Folding Valley” embraces the nighttime feeling further, with the whispery tones and nocturnal synths fit for a red-eye bus ride away from the bustling populace. Cloak is a captivating, grippingly atmospheric success from Russ Young.

“Chancel of Living Trees” and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of March 2023’ Spotify playlist.

We discovered this release via MusoSoup. The submitter accepted our content-based offer, which included financial compensation for our time writing, editing, and publishing this article.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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