Sean Conrad has been building up a quietly gorgeous catalog under the Channelers name for thirteen releases now. Walking the lines between ambient float and meditative folk, the band has evolved over the past few years into something that approaches somnambulant ache. The works have a dreamlike, gossamer feel to them. In the past it’s felt as if one touch might tumble whole records into waking dust. He opens up the pallet on Time, Space, and Thought, adding in elements that don’t always tread so delicately. The addition of EWI Saxophone, fuzzed leads, and Fender Rhodes balances the more fragile forms on the record, pushing Channelers into a more ruffled era.
The opener stays true, but once into “Deeper Orange,” the sax fills the room with steam and sweat, a slight discomfort that curdles the calm. The balance drives the album, moving from moments of sun-streaked bliss to sunstroke heat visions within a matter of tracks. There have been some great records this year that skirt the lines between ambient jazz, kosmiche serenity, and billowing folk. With a slight shift, Channelers moves to fill the space alongside those acts ably. The record lets the mind buzz with a out-of-body aura, the listener hovering above the frame watching the screws turn on tensions from sanguine to psychosis. This album feels like Conrad turning a page towards something new with Channelers, and its great to hear him find that footing.
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