Ambient Post-Rock Artist Alaskan Tapes Releases New Album ‘For Us Alone’
April 19, 2021 BY Nettwerk
Toronto-based composer Alaskan Tapes AKA Brady Kendall shares his new ambient, post-rock album, For Us Alone. The record will be his fifth outing and follows his 2019 full-length Views From Sixteen Stories. He elaborates, “’On For Us Alone’ there is a simple concept: I wanted to continue the sound I was going for on ‘Views From Sixteen Stories’ and make the songs I was trying to finish by the end of that process. There’s more structure to these songs, which still segue nicely from the end of the last album.”
Kendall wrote the nine songs on For Us Alone in three groups of three, and as a result the music flows cohesively from one track to the next. Exactly three songs feature drums—one in each suite, a technique that helps flesh out the groups and connect them to the whole. Everything was written and recorded in Kendall’s home studio space in the apartment where he lives with his girlfriend about an hour north of Toronto; strings were added remotely by Jonathan Dreyfuss in Berlin, who was the only musician aside from Kendall to play on the album. The recording embraces the imperfect nature in which it was made, from ambient blips that add texture and depth to the low hum of a conversation elsewhere in his home to the intentionally muddy way the electronic drums were captured.
“I’m always trying to do things that I either didn’t explore enough or haven’t explored before,” he says. “I think you can hear that in most of the albums. In terms of the project as a whole, I already know where it’s going; it’s a rainbow wave, and this is the most post-rock heavy direction I want to reach, so the next album will likely be with fewer or no drums, going back down the slope.”
Growing up, Brady played the drums in metal bands before he discovered the drum & bass scene. He started to create and post liquid drum & bass tracks online before becoming more focused on what he calls “drawn-out minimal sounds.” Out of these style tracks, the project was born. Starting in early 2016 with the debut EP Beyond the Streets and then a full-length, We All Speak in Poems, later that same year, Alaskan Tapes began releasing a steady stream of music that gradually ebbed and flowed into new sonic territory and served as a natural progression of Kendall’s tastes and sound experiments. From the initial atmospheric electronica and beat-less ambient songs of that first pair of records to neoclassical dream pop, guitar-based ambient, and drone music—some songs with vocals, some completely instrumental—every Alaskan Tapes release brought with it a measured shift. For Us Alone is the latest step in the sonic journey.