Melissa Grey & David Morneau, Robert Kirkbride’s new release Always Becoming is supposed to be an endless loop according to the trio. With that in mind the way I started my journey down this adventure was by just hitting the play button and letting it ride. On their Bandcamp page they describe it as “Always Becoming weaves the colors of sunshine pop and dream pop with Robert Kirkbride’s harp-like guitars and Melissa Grey & David Morneau’s crystalline orchestration and signature seductive beats, wrapping the listener in a sonic tapestry of ever-shifting patterns, pulses and hues.”
In all honesty this didn’t sound like dream pop to me. I typically think of a band like Beach House and that didn’t seem like a valid comparison to me. The music felt like an evolved and perhaps more complex ambient soundscape. I feel like the music here was in similar company to Brian Eno, Windy & Carl and Auburn Lull.
Some of the brilliance of this release is the disparate nature of the sounds that come together to create a balanced array of colors. I felt like the artwork which was done by Robert Kirkbride exemplifies this quality. The visuals and sounds come together on the opening track “Being.”
This song shifts between patterns to create an attention grabbing and nuanced collection of sounds. The emotion is almost neutral and in a similar camp to one of the most prolific producers I have heard - Amon Tobin.
I barely noticed a transition between “Being” and the next song “Always.” The song is a masterclass on how to utilize space within a song. This is the type of music that can feel physical given the context and speaker quality. Sounds come and go in an organic and natural way. “Ever” continues down this aesthetic with new patterns forming in geometric unity. The most realized song is “Becoming.” I loved the idea of a loop and this song is repeat-worthy.
This is the type of release that will resonate with a niche audience. It’s far from pop music and if you are the type of person who needs a hook this won’t be for you. This release is like an explorer discovering new terrain and going over every inch with a fine comb.