We here at DC are surely biased and definitely overuse hyperbole, but geographically-speaking, the Pacific Northwest is a beautiful place, unmatched in many ways. Native residents often take it for granted - the lush rainforests, cascading waterfalls, dramatic gorges, and rugged coastline eventually becoming background scenery after years spent living in the region. But outside perspective can rekindle our appreciation. Ludvig Stolterman and Jonatan Nilsson (who perform as the Swedish electronic duo Gidge) recently visited our corner of the world, and what they witnessed inspired the music on their stunning new album, New Light.
Sometimes nature-based albums feel lazily pastoral, but on New Light, Gidge presents PNW landscapes as active and dynamic. The title track absolutely moves, flowing like glacial runoff in the spring, as do Over and Always Unfolding. Gidge mixes their hour-long album expertly, though, cutting in slower moments to interrupt pace. A few of these points are woven into album highlights Perimeter and The Cascades. These twin side B tracks are magnificent, the first of which mimics a Thom Yorke Eraser melody before the second bursts into a dancefloor stomp. To draw another parallel, Gidge reminds us a bit of Asleep Versions-era Jon Hopkins, both artists creating melodies which seam to float dreamily in the clouds. But it is the land that captured the imagination of Stolterman and Nilsson, and New Light is their postcard from Cascadia. Start with a preview track below, but set aside an hour for the entire piece this week.