Library Tapes is an artist whose name I keep hearing in more and more places these days, and for good reason. His music is amazingly haunting and beautiful, and not enough good things can be said about it. His new album, “a summer beneath the trees” is a slight departure in mood and tone, but still contains the slow, minimalist orchestrations.

On previous releases, Library Tapes made very ghostly neoclassical and ambientmusic, employing a lot of static and environmental sounds. The effect was very somber and forlorn, switching between distant and intimate. This album seems to forego the static and some of the environmental sounds in favor of a much cleaner production. The music is still very gentle and tender, but lush, warm and full of life, which is part of what separates it from previous albums. Most of the music is performed with piano and string instruments in a very modern type of classical music. It is still very sad music, but it seems more nostalgic to me than truly morose. As the title of the album suggests, it feels a bit like sitting at the base of a tree in the middle of summer. I imagine one of the big oak trees that sat alone in the big yellow fields near where I grew up in Indiana. The music is very comforting.

I am not sure if I like this more than the previous Library Tapes albums, but it is definitely a great release. I hope this artist continues to churn out such great albums. He also has a great side project called Forestflies which would also appeal to anyone who enjoys Library Tapes albums.

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