Loren Claypool’s One Feather Shy is a journey into genre-indifferent instrumental guitar music. The songs are realized on acoustic, electric, baritone electric, fretless electric, lap steel, baritone lap steel, touch, and synthesizer guitars. The music is textural, visual, thoughtful, and emotional, sometimes delicate and… sometimes not.
One Feather Shy – Clayphonic Records (2008)
All the songs on the album were written and arranged by Loren Claypool. Loren plays all the instruments apart from track 13, Circular Motion, which was performed by the Guitar Circle of Chicago which consists of: Ian Bessler, Loren Claypool, Don Deane, Scott English, Adrian Fortis and John Novak.
1. Station I
2. Colchester Turning
3. Change of Plans (fretless)
5. Thank You Dan Savio
6. Sand Sculpture (fretless)
7. The Empty Place
9. Good Things, Good People (fretless)
10. Baritone Drift
11. Evening Bells
12. Fire Dancing on Frozen Tundra
13. Circular Motion
14. First Light
15. Lifting Fog (fretless)
16. Cycles (fretless)
17. When Dads Fly Away
18. Station II
Listening to this album in its entirety and asked to describe it, the words that come to mind are Neo Ambient. Fretless guitar is used on five tracks: “Change of Plans” features a haunting fretless sound which is very plaintiff and expressive, “Sand Sculpture” has a nice distorted fretless playing over the melodic backing, “Good Things, Good People” is reminiscent of a Brian May tone, “Lifting Fog” is self descriptive – just the thing to play on a frosty foggy morning, “Cycles” is a little more urgent and upbeat, repeating phrases, shifting keys, tense and punctual, and my favourite by a hair.
Loren describes the album as “genre-indifferent instrumental guitar music” and this is an apt description as it crosses several musical boundaries with little regard for convention. Sometimes delicate, sometimes aggressive, the music is textural, visual, thoughtful, and emotional. Moving from sparse arrangements to densely orchestrated compositions, each song is fascinating on its own, but clearly an integral part of a larger work.
One Feather Shy is a great approach to guitar based music, there is no percussion, the guitar replaces what drum parts might have been needed. All in all a very well thought out album, and I do recommend it, current price is $10 postage free World Wide!
Review – Jahloon – November 2015