Barn Owl is an interesting band that hones in on a very particular niche in terms of style but manages to keep each album very dynamic. Barn Owl’s “V” is no exception here. While the album fits comfortably into the drone and ambient category, it has a very distinctly mysterious vibe that slowly pushes through the entire album.
The ambiance is largely created with carefully reverberated guitar washes and even more subtle background rhythms and textures. Tracks like “The Long Shadow” even demonstrate some song composition that still morphs into a strong ambient recording. The music on the whole is more mysterious than dark, but the whole thing definitely exists on the darker side of ambient.
While Barn Owl normally gets tagged as drone, the word usually implies some level of grittiness and heaviness that just isn’t present here. This is a delicate, beautiful recording that far more reminds me of the more tranquil aspects of bands like Godspeed You! Black Emperor than it reminds me of bands like Sunn O))) or Earth. It is organic, lush and engaging.