Published Apr 03, 2019Music for Staying Warm is an antidote to anticipatory anxiety. The debut LP from Montreal composer and cellist Justin Wright — who has worked with Jeremy Dutcher, Common Holly, Folly & the Hunter and more — is driven by textured cadences that encourage you to be at peace with the present moment.
Wright's expressive string work, which fluctuates between agitated movements and slow, thoughtful strokes, ensures that simple and beautiful moments are a mainstay of the album: softly plucked strings dance in the background of "Improvisation"; the sonorous cello notes on "Modular Winter" rumble loud enough to crack thick ice covering a city; and Wright's chosen tones on "Flutes" expertly match the titular instrument.
Music for Staying Warm is anchored by Wright's four-part drone series. These pieces act like markers along the way towards feeling calm. On the album's closer, and the final part of the drone series, "Drone I: Meditation," a deep serenity is present. Despite the fact that the album is winding down, Wright is not in a hurry and allows each note to linger as long as necessary.
The intention for Music for Staying Warm, as Wright notes in his description of the album, is for listeners "to relinquish your sense of anticipation." Wright understands the collective desire to feel settled and the unhurried pace of the majority of the record offers the relief you're looking for. (Sleepless Records)