Andy Vought cages a sane personality. In a world that doesn’t make sense, that is constantly divided. He crystallizes his thoughts into albums, that he releases sporadically. As inspirations strikes, he lets it in. This is not a monetary magnet. It isn’t something that he’s been forced to. After 5 years, he releases Standing with Trees, his new album. Let’s walk in the shimmering shadows with him.
Road Leading Nowhere is the opening track. Like Pink Floyd’s Mother, the acoustic delight is the small creek that we float on. Into the wild Andy Vought takes us, layered instrumentals stealing the show over his soft voice. The strings, acoustic, piano and wind instruments create a charming windchime to stare into.
Vought leads into a quicker tempo for a poetic exploration in It’s Like This. The chord progression is something he churns a gold thread out of, something that ties the track together. The production focusing on making the instruments extraordinarily clear makes all the difference. The chiming guitars form a beautiful swing for the chorus as well. Ajahn Chah is quite easily the experimental approach to a jungle anthem of sorts. In praise of the Buddhist monk that preached the teachings of the Buddha, the track reflects the feeling. Calm and steady, it is organic and natural in its approach. The build is worth witnessing, a layer adding in like a lesson has been learnt every verse.
When the instruments have words
From the pleasures of the anechoic symphony comes Mixed Karma. Featuring a spaced out sound effect, The strings and flute offset each other to create mystery and an ominous aura. Andy Vought whispers in the secrets almost, his voice having the natural tremble that enhances the instruments. By the time the guitars enter, you’re absorbed as a part of this song. Halfway through the track, the father of ancient philosophy bares his face. In this case, the track is a tale with just the acoustic embellishment of these instruments. Simple, yet effective.
Obstacles Become the Path brings in a basic beat as a spine for the track, changing style. A deeper topic is explored, as we reach the core of the album. Andy Vought chooses to keep his lyrics straightforward, they intend to get to the point. The piano and guitar tango makes an interesting listen as well. The next track, For the Angels has a cinematic approach, with the Simon and Garfunkel style of guitar tempo keeping the core. It is an emotional track, with sensual syncopation creating the crux of every track.
Instruments in tandem
Monastery relies on the easygoing nature of the theme to dissuade. From excess noise, sound and effect. To embrace the simplicity and the morals of good. Like Sabbath’s Planet Caravan, the beats are bare and yet provide a characteristic element to the song. Rogue Planet reverses back to the creative collaboration of instruments that Andy Vought is a master of. The strings and guitar interact with the piano to make something special and unique in each track.
Three Characteristics follows in the progression of what makes this album. It is a churning aftermath of instruments that Andy thinks through. It has the aspects of a good tale told in song. A brilliant songwriter and his approach to inspiration and what art means. Standing with Trees is Andy regressing to the roots. To remind himself answers he might know. To ask questions that most don’t ask. This is a poem that is an ode to what we’ve left behind. It also paves the way for what is coming ahead.
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Self professed metalhead, moderately well read. If the music has soul, it's whole to me. The fact that my bio could have ended on a rhyme and doesn't should tell you a lot about my personality.