White Rainbow (née Adam Forkner) recently tore through the autumn skies to drop this bomb, blowing away expectations, surpassing anything I could have anticipated after the already-excellent 2007 LP Prism of Eternal Now. Expanding on the warm, nebulous nature of his live jam constructions, New Clouds is an impossibly appropriate title for one of this year’s best records.
Transcendent, overwhelming, hypnotic bliss. Building layer upon layer of drones, stretched and echoed vocals, muted tribal percussion, and gorgeous synth swells, each track is a towering confection allowed room to naturally develop and breathe. The four tracks comprise an hourlong running time, every moment feeling palpably open and inviting. This album inspires and propels further listening, rather than demanding it. Songs begin focused on a singular element, be it delayed acoustic guitar strums or rubbery hand drumming, and evolve with such grace and intuitive logic that final assembly is nearly imperceptible. This music simply happens, while the conscious mind is busy absorbing the amorphous beauty like a pillow swallowing a blissful dreamer. Informed by a wide range of greats, from Terry Riley to Can at their most euphoric, Forkner has finally broken through to a plane where his art exists on its own terms, immaterial of time or place. This album raises hypnagogic exploration to new heights.