Last month Floating Beauty’s gorgeous album Larva found its way to my review pile, not so much dropping into the in-box more seemingly coalescing slowly from the sound of the elements and the world around, growing from smoke like intangibility until it became perceptible to the sense. Larissa, the album’s opening track, provided my first steps into that sumptuous world and so to find myself in a position to explore it more full was an opportunity I wasn’t going to pass.
Floating Beauty is a world of music like little else I have heard before wandering between modern classical orchestration and post-everything minimalism, it avoids the obvious and the immediate instead revelling in a slow burning majesty and Larissa captures these concepts in all their glory. Strings brood and bruise rather than drive, chime rather than create melody, often doing little more than painting musical colour to frame the anticipation and atmosphere found in the natural world. And it is this tense reserve which feels like the calm before the storm, the deep breath before the plunge, but tantalisingly the storm and the plunge never happen, not on this track at least.
It moves at glacial pace, sure footed but unhurried, feeling at times like you are hearing just one part of a song in isolation, that this is merely the base for a more dramatic, more dynamic musical piece. But that is indeed the beauty, that this sparse and spatially aware music is the be-all-and-end-all, no embellishments or musical motifs need to be threaded through or bolted on to achieve its goals, such a move would be gimmicks at best, at worst, totally distracting. The accompanying video makes the same bold statements as the music, a slide show of hazy woodland landscapes, backdrops rather than images and barely changing.
That is the bravery of the music, that it knows it is the antithesis of most modern music, that is has nothing to say directly to the listener but instead tugs at emotions, dances with the heart and becomes one with your very soul. When was the last time music gave you that experience?