The tangerine hues of sunlight dipping below the horizon that grace the cover of It Is Solved By Walking may be the truest advertising you’re gonna get for a Luke Schneider album (or EP, is this an EP?). Schneider’s works for pedal steel are aglow with a warmth that can be felt curling under the dermis and down into the bones, cascading in waves throughout every nerve, neuron, and nodule of the body and mind. The pedal steel has seen a pretty heavy resurgence of late, owing in no small part to the psych continent aging nicely into a cosmic country corral that, I for one, am completely here for. The other side of the surge is the rise of ambient country, as headlined and honed by Luke’s Centripetal Force label-mates Nashville Ambient Ensemble, North Americans, Suss, and Jeffrey Silverstein.
Like his contemporaries, Schneider uses the pedal steel as a much more meticulous brush, ferreting out synth-like sounds from the instrument rather than leaning into it’s signature twang. Alongside a New Age float from the keys, the new record is even more in tune with Luke’s love of meditation than his last. The title refers to a search for clarity through daily walks and moving meditation, reflecting a search for solace in the album’s glistening tones. Schneider believes that sound can help listeners transcend their current space, forming a cocoon that blocks out the outside world in search of inner reflection. It’s easy to get lost inside of the record, floating between each gossamer moment, but its also an absolute joy to inhabit.
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