Half Asleep Upon Echo Falls
In the ’90s, Lollapalooza, “120 Minutes” and the nascent Internet helped make the world safe for genre-bending and various non-jazzy types of musical fusion (we’re still getting over rap-metal). One avenue that never fulfilled its potential was the intersection of ambient soundscapes, trip-hop and the fuzzed-out guitar bands of the Too Pure label scene — music that would have made pop and rock quieter, a narcotized haze of dreamy, fluffy, liquid beats and strums. Whistle Peak somehow accomplishes all this while retaining bouncy hooks and harmonies and keeping the noise to a sensible minimum. It’s the perfect soundtrack for floating off to nite-nite time or groggily reading the paper (or iPad) on a late Sunday morning, in the best possible way. There’s even a song called “Sleepy Pants,” if there was any doubt left. Make no mistake — this album comes highly recommended for lovers of sounds both familiar and surprising, and makes quiet sound confident and vibrant.