After a year of silence, Ayver returns with its fifth album. This self-titled album is a masterwork in tranquility as it traverses various musical styles with a soft dynamic appeal that keeps it from wallowing in stagnation. The perfect soundtrack for those needing time to themselves, as they catch their breath from the cacophony that is everyday.
If Ayver, the self-titled Peruvian solo project, could be summed up simply in a singular phrase it would be; transcendental atmospheric tranquility. After more than a year of inaction, Ayver returns, delivering a masterful cogitation of reflective change through an ambient introspection, flecked with various dynamics that keep this effort from languishing in stagnanation. This is somehow achieved within the texture of serenity that pervades throughout the album, implying a deliberateness that is potentially derived from the quote by artist Paul Barrios found on the artist’s Bandcamp page; “Loneliness is not a bad thing if you learn to appreciate its beauty and use it to grow spiritually”. This would seem particularly apt, given the rough and tumble past few years we have all had to endure, at times, in solitude.
The opening of Ayver is a dreamlike easement into the track itself, with ambient synths, gently squeaking strings and muted-plucked notes on a guitar. It then moves into a beautifully toned, post-rock style riff that continues onto the second track, “Newpocity”, that is reminiscent of early Explosions in the Sky. While there is an Explosions style build up, there is no cacophonous “silence to violence” mentality, or abrupt changes that was the hallmark of so many early post-rock bands. Instead, there is a crash of cymbals, one of many, and a simple, yet ethereal fade into the next movement, or rather, soft wave of the album, the Neoclassical.
“Glow metamorphosis”, a top contender for my favorite track, is a beautiful transition for the upcoming blend within the rest of the album. Resplendent with watery backing tracks, a jazz -style meandering of the piano, whispered strings that enter and leave the song in almost the same breath, and a minor resurgence of our post-rock riffs that we previously explored, all of which lends purpose to the aptly named track. The following song, “The Souvenirs of Emma” is a continuation of the neoclassical style, with an almost comfy synth beginning, before the album seamlessly drifts, or more appropriately, ebbs back into the post-rock that it flowed out from in the preceding tracks. This time however, we wade into the deeper waters of ambiance with tracks like “Mellifluousleep”, another contender for my favorite track for its simplistic-soft beauty that’s nigh a lullaby, by way of the transitional tracks such as “Imaginary Friends (Reunion)”, and “Spherical Abstraction In Progress”.
What follows is a drawing down into the depths of atmospheric texture by the undertow of the Neoclassical, post-rock, and ambient currents. These coalesce into a blending of the final movement of the album wherein we are carried to its conclusion of what sounds like one musical piece, rather than the pieces of a whole they actually are. This album is utterly effortless in its transitions and the environment it creates as a whole, so that when we finally close the album out on a trance type beat there is little befuddlement as to what such a seeming oddity is doing in our tranquil waters that we have thus far tread within. The end has only a semblance of matching what the beginning held for Ayver, but in this, it is a success in the most dynamic of terms. Any band, or artist can be dynamic in shocking or explosive ways as an intent to create feeling, but not many can pull off a quiet build with similar emotive aims and be successful in not only the pay off, but the retention of the listener throughout the work. Ayver is a captivating piece, one that remains so on the twelfth listen, much as it was on the first, and it will likely remain as it has in my collection since I stumbled upon it, as a go to for any number of reasons.
Be righteous by listening to and supporting Ayver on Bandcamp: https://ayver.bandcamp.com/album/ayver