The Last Mixed Tape reviews For Every Silence, the debut studio album from electronic artist Ryan Vail.
There’s something about the unspoken connection between music and our own emotions that can colour our mood and leave us spellbound. This is certainly the case for most of Ryan Vail’s For Every Silence.
The space between rhythm and melody is essential to For Every Silence. The great distance that follows each long lingering note of ‘Faces’ is filled with popping beats before being completely taken away. Lending itself to a darkened widescreen production that hisses and crackles behind it, Vail’s music has its roots deep in whispered electronic tones and uses this musical patience to build tension.
Although For Every Silence takes a distinctly minimal approach, the album constantly changes. Moving without faltering, Vail incorporates choral splendor (‘Above the White Wash’), electro and cinematic instrumental piano (‘1927′) into the records’ core. This subtly widening scope lures us further and further into Vail’s world without distraction and allows us to experience the album in our own way.
However, this hypnotic captivation is occasionally broken by pieces of spoken-word that disrupt the atmosphere of For Every Silence rather than add to it. These moments feel too on-the-nose thematically and are one of the album’s few missteps, intruding on an otherwise well-crafted production.
An album wracked with flourishes of great ominous beauty, and moments of raw tension For Every Silence is an uncompromising affirmation of Ryan Vail and his unique musical outlook. The moments when For Every Silence excels, and they are many, truly capture the imagination and make for a strong debut.
For Every Silence by Ryan Vail is out now.