As if on a mission to dispel any bored fatigue some unnamed writers might have when gazing at the ambient landscape of 2014, an unexpected duo surfaces, one that shatters the light that had become too bright for these tired eyes. This partnership is made up of Maxwell August Croy, a member of San Francisco-based project EN, and Sean McCann, all around Los Angeles badass who has recorded at least a million incredible records (including this one and this one). Together they make music beautiful enough to get this cynic to stop using his SoundCloud stream as background cleaning music and to start paying attention.
“Parting Light (Suite)” is the real stunner here. McCann’s violin and cello parts wrap around Croy’s expertly plucked koto to create a rich environment of razor sharp tension giving way rapidly to oceanic bliss. Each movement blossoms and enchants. Other moments on the album seem to hint at more repetitive and submerged intentions – all are fairly breathtaking. For those sick of post-new age posturing, this is the real deal – West Coast minimalism indeed. Pre-order from Students of Decay here.