Mount Alaska: Wave Atlas review - A gorgeous swoosh of an album

Ripple-effect melancholy unlike Mount Alaska’s previously released music

Wave Atlas: Season One
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Artist: Mount Alaska
Genre: Soundtrack
Label: 251 Records

Creating soundtracks for visual works that don't actually exist is an idea that has been around for some time (Barry Adamson's 1989 debut album, Moss Side Story), so by this stage the end results depend on what the music sounds like, what storylines you have in your head while listening to it, and sneaky glances at the track titles for narrative clues. Judging by the latter here, Mount Alaska's non-existent movie (or television series) isn't going to be laugh-out-loud comedy: the sombre shades of The Subterranean Heart, The Last Time They Met, Far from the Fjord, Polar, and Lunar present ripple-effect melancholy that is unlike their previously released music. The album, however, is also a tip of the hat to favourite ambient/electronic music composers such as Max Richter, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Wendy Carlos, Delia Derbyshire, and Ólafur Arnalds. Mount Alaska's writing/production team of Stephen Shannon and Cillian McDonnell pay more than mere homage, though: throughout this mostly seamless, gorgeous swoosh of an album (the only jitters are in the title track) are signature stratagems that will surely make their way onto Wave Atlas: Season Two. TONY CLAYTON-LEA

Tony Clayton-Lea

Tony Clayton-Lea

Tony Clayton-Lea is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in popular culture