William Sanford – ‘Deep Mollusca’

Cover art by Emilija Mitchell

Abundant in colorful electronic soundscapes and inventive structural maneuvers, Deep Mollusca is the new album from William Sanford. Impressing last year with the Boomer Vibe “Sessions” album, Deep Mollusca explores a sound that’s “deeper and darker,” in comparison, ranging in atmosphere from tropical beach settings to eerie nighttime swells.

The album’s dynamic appeal is evident from the get-go. The serene ocean setting of the opening “The Pelagic Plunge” casts a caressingly hypnotic glow, guiding with sounds of water flowing, heavenly vocal snippets, and fluttering melodic enamoring. Following, “Abyssal Solenogastres” immediately casts a more late-night spell, with murky bass and club-ready rhythms driving into spacey synth injections; the captivating result is fit for once the sun sets, and visions of balmy beach sunshine are gone.

Deep Mollusca is consistently enveloping from there. A faint synth buzzing on “Muusoctopus’s Garden” expands cohesively into gentle effervescence, from the mid-point’s jazzy key glistening to a second half with bubbly synth-pop charm. A brisker disposition stirs on “The Terrifyingly Beautiful Lives of Sea Angels,” where a heady bass pulse and spritzy synth interweaving combine for a ravishing success.

Featuring Buggly and f-r-a-g-i-l-e, “The Blood Red Waters Of The Photic Zone” is another charmer — strutting a soulful, funk-touched groove amidst submerged vocal segments, while the hazy vocals on “Despite Gumboot’s Armer (feat. A Beached Whale)” enamor alongside a range of subdued pianos and bright synths alike. Deep Mollusca is a thoroughly compelling album, full of atmosphere and structural twists, from William Sanford.

“Abyssal Solenogastres” and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of December 2023’ Spotify playlist.

We discovered this release via MusoSoup, as part of the artist’s promotional campaign.

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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