[Indistinct Chatter]: My Mother’s Star – Childhood memories on an ambient loop
My Mother's Star
These days Myles O’Reilly is best known as a filmmaker who has served some of Ireland’s best-known indie musicians. Before that, he played in the band Juno Falls, but the ambient sounds that soundtrack his music documentaries are one touchpoint on this, his third album under the [Indistinct Chatter] banner. The other is his relationship with his late mother, as the title suggests; these eight tracks, conceived during last year’s lockdown, were inspired by memories of her.
Taking both sources into account, this is a meditative, slow-burning record with no sense of urgency or explicit intention. Instead, it seems like songs such as Villa Cypris, with its softly plucked electric guitar riff looped, layered and reversed against the faint drone of keyboard, are designed to evoke a certain atmosphere as O’Reilly picks through memories from his childhood.
The jumbled, offbeat ambience of Driving Us Home eventually settles into a satisfying rhythm, aided and abetted by violin. The dinky toy keyboard riff of Family Holidays brings a measured sense of innocence and fun, while the wheeze of accordion over dappled water and birdsong on The Peace You Gave Me is tranquility epitomised.
These hypnotic compositions may not be for everybody, but it sounds like O’Reilly made this record primarily to soothe his own soul – and there is a certain beauty to such truthfulness.