Chris Daly knows The Driver’s real name.
submerse goes deep on his latest Project Mooncircle depth charge, Awake. The six-track EP (seven if your copy includes the Japanese bonus track), clocks in at a scant 20 minutes, and is some of the young Rob Orme’s best work to date. The album works as a ” soundtrack for roaming around vast city landscapes between late night and early morning.” For those of us looking for the perfect soundtrack to watch the moon go down as the sun comes up, we need only look to stay Awake.
Ominously opening with the feedback-heavy, static-laden “too late, they’re already here,” the complex intro is actually somewhat of a fake-out, setting up what could be a more jarring audio adventure before the album finds a much more peaceful place and rides that wave for the remainder. Follow-up “sidequests” maintains the same acoustic electronica vibe (those percussion samples are so smooth as to sound seamless) while dropping into far more syrupy realms of late night activity.
“sophomore,” possibly the best track here (or, at the very least, my favorite) tacks on an after-hours, almost Shlohmo-like vibe, layering on keyboards and conversational snippets to tell stories best heard underwater. The rest of the album hones in and around this same down-tempo, low-key approach, hazily evoking deep sea scenes, fluid in every sense of the word. The EP ends with the menacingly titled, “turn back, something is wrong,” which concludes exploring the same sense of tension as the intro, a nice “the circle is now complete” touch.
If you happen to live in Japan and/or have access to flau records, your version of Awake will include the aforementioned and previously alluded to “polar,” which goes beyond basic bonus material to ending the EP on a completely different perspective note, utilizing the same background-noise-heavy approach as the album opener, but with much softer sounds. This “Choose Your Own Adventure” approach, intended or not, gives the listener that much more than “that one dope track that just didn’t ‘fit’ on the album” filler, acting more like an afterword than an afterthought.