Glenn Echo is named after a street in Stoughton, Massachusetts, near where Matt Gaydar grew up—the man behind this solo project.

Narrative’s connection to home, therefore, is not a coincidence, with each piece holding the sense of something familiar, if at times distant. The music surrounds us, enveloping us in a small, warm blanket of sound with plucked strings thrumming out into welcoming silences, the distorted lyrics inhabiting the air around you.

Gaydar describes the collection as “experimental foreground music.” The subtleties of narrative demand the listener’s attention. In “sleeping trees, i am a worm,” there’s a rustling of leaves, cicada-esque noises and burbling undertones. “What i should have said” takes another tack: the repetitive lyrics and sparse instrumentals are punctuated by a gentle cymbal giving the track a confessional quality. It seems like Glenn Echo is telling us a secret we have to lean in to hear.

He attributes some of this to the fact that recording was done in winter, arguably the most insular, isolating season. Narrative finds balance with its pairing of softer sounds, like the twittering of birds in “bluejay” to lessen the severity of the distorted words from e.e cumming’s inspired “inspiteofeverything” or the unexpected phone ringing in “coming home.”

Gaydar achieves “an atmosphere of connection through solitude,” on narrative, as instruments, voices, and any incidences of sound appear—or disappear—from the tracks. We are pushed and pulled with the movement of the music but we always come back home, wherever that may be.

Want to hear more recent premieres from local musicians? Here!

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