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Quarantainment: Unstabile compounds the textured silence of Western Mass with ‘Glimmers’

Photo Credit: Julia Briggs
 

Editor’s Note: Welcome to Quarantainment, Vanyaland’s new series on what to watch, what to hear, and how to deal as the world engages in social distancing to combat the spread of coronavirus, or COVID-19. We’re all at home, we’re all online, and we’re all in this together. #StayTheFHome


If there was a singular, perfect place to capture a field recording, it would be Western Massachusetts. Nestled in the hush of Hampshire County (home to Northampton, Amhearst, and Hadley), out west is exactly where Unstabile crafted their cushy new lo-fi EP Glimmers, out today (March 27). 

Built on a foundation of lush field recordings, bass, and keyboard, Glimmers is an EP that does exactly what it says — reflect the silvery ambiance of winter in the West with a grounded, mellowed-out sheen.

 

“Field recording is a really important part of what got me into making my own music, because it made me appreciate texture differently,” Unstabile tells Vanyaland. “To me, it can be a way of amplifying subtle sounds, whether it be something ‘natural’ in the environment, or brushing your hand against the surface of something, or an odd fragment of a voice. It’s been common for me to use field recordings as a textural base that helps inspire a track, or to make unique sounding instruments/shapes out of them. It just has this intimate quality to it that I love, so a lot of my sounds tend to come from that.”

Through that musical lens, the frosty silence of the mountains develops a texture that Unstabile tinkers with over the EP’s eight tracks. With each song, the Western Massachusetts artist exposes music’s magic ability to convey other senses through mere sound; shades of purple and gray bleed through some tracks, while chilly temps pierce through others.

“In regards to this project, I was more shaped by absence. It was mostly recorded in the winter, when the sky was often gray and blank, and the sound of life was literally muted,” Unstabile adds. “Sun was a rarity, and I barely knew people in the area. Basically, it compounded self-confrontation, and had me trying to notice and attune to the little bits of light I experienced, either on the rare sunny day or in the occasional clearing in my mind. I was conjuring a dreaminess in the cold darkness that I think I needed, drawn to a certain simplicity and ambient qualities.”

Slip into Unstabile’s reflecting pool of Glimmers below.