Album Review: Aaron Holm “The Boy”

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Aaron Holm is a Seattle-based composer and producer interested in finding the most from the simple. As I listened through his record this is the description that most starkly presented itself. Throughout the looping beats, the various ambient effects that wash over you, and repeating melodic phrases, you realize how committed Aaron is to the ambient ethos.

The ambient composer, and I should know, is about constructing various worlds of sound from the most simple, yet transformative, materials. As The Boy plays, this concept is shown ever so perfectly. You are drawn in to this soundscape and allowed to dream. You are allowed to free your mind and totally immerse yourself in the music.

As Holm’s PR team stated, “Deeply influenced by electronic and ambient pioneers like Jon Hopkins, Roger & Brian Eno and Boards of Canada, his blissed-out compositions make use of abstract field recordings, as well as low, shimmering electronic tones.” Reich and Eno especially stand out to me here, as their approaches to music are followed in so many ways in The Boy.

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Aaron is not afraid, much like Reich, to explore complex topics. The track Catch a Falling Star explores “the story of the father’s love for his child and his heartbreak on hearing of the Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown.  On the morning of the shooting, Holm’s daughter’s first grade teacher sent out a recording of the children singing ‘Catch A Falling Star.  The recording is heard at the track start.  Aaron says – ‘As I heard the news of the school shooting, first graders were the victims, I pulled to the side of the road and cried.  The voices in this track soothe broken hearts and the loss of innocence and brings the boy full circle from childhood to fatherhood.'”

If you are a lover of ambient music, you really should consider adding The Boy to your collection.

The Boy can be found at:

http://dissolverecords.com/project/the-boy/

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