Album: Song of Salmon – Silence

The sprawling ten-minute epic, ‘Black Waves’ opens Song of Salmon’s recent album, Silence. It is a showcase of the artist’s ambition of melding soaring electronica with the scuzzy dread of doomgaze, reminiscent of modern post-rock legends, Have a Nice Life. It is a great example of a smaller artist going above and beyond what is usually expected of artists of little notoriety. 

Speaking of ambition, I cannot name a song that I have ever come across, never mind in the last few years, whose lyrics are solely in Latin. ‘Missa Brevis’ is the first song to do this that I have noticed. To say that I am impressed is a vast understatement. Braden Gillispe (the name behind Song of Salmon) has brought together two things that are seemingly so disparate, that it’s otherwise hard to imagine what shoegaze and languages of antiquity may sound like married; luckily for us, Gillispie has eradicated the need to imagine it. 

What also stands out to me about, Silence is it’s production. It is truly stunning, especially on moments during the song, ‘Solstice’; the acoustic guitar is rich and enveloping, and the drums are minimal yet completely booming. It crescendos in a lush soundscape, giving into the maximalist breaks that post-rock is prone to, whilst still clearly remaining utterly considered and put together. 

Whilst singing the record’s praise, it would be unforgivable to not mention just how lovely Braden Gillispe’s voice is. On closer, ‘Adrift’ it lulls the listener out towards it’s atmosphere, over instrumentation that lands somewhere between Slowdive and Cigarettes After Sex; where it differs however, is it’s folk sensibilities that grounds the entire album. It is glorious way to end the album, a soft yet ferocious wave of soaring guitars and reverberated vocals. 

I cannot recommend this record enough. Silence takes the shoegaze genre, that which is oh so trendy right now, and puts Song of Salmon’s own unique spin on it, sitting in a sound universe that combines the intricacy of Berlin-school electronica, the existentialism of post-rock, and the grace of shoe-gaze. If you’re a fan of even one of these genres, then I implore you to take a listen to Song of Salmon’s, Silence. 

Written by Callum Folds