Bear with me for a moment and put on your imagination
cap. Imagine that you're leaving the home of a person
who makes your heart go pitter-pat. It's a brisk
moonless night, and your footsteps go crunch crunch
on a bed of fresh fallen snow. The orange glow of
the streetlights cast a warm tone on the falling
snowflakes, and for a moment it seems as thought
there are tiny stars coming to kiss you on the nose.
The One AM Radio is the sound of this scene. It's
important to give you this visual image, because
it's too easy otherwise to write this off as a dime-a-dozen
"boy with acoustic guitar" project. These
songs are far more beautiful and emotive than that.
The soft guitar melodies and the singer's gentle
tenor, violin harmonies -- they all blend together
to create a gentle-yet-not-snoozy sound. Even though
these are simple songs with only a few instruments,
they use each sound to its fullest. The album is
generally slow or mid-tempo, but it remains liliting,
lively and lovely. Passivity is barely an option
in listening to this record; its every groove puts
a hold on the heart.
- - - - -
CMJ: After a number of EPs, compilations and 7-inch
releases, the One AM Radio has finally released
a proper full-length, The Hum Of The Electric Air!
Bandleader Hrishikesh Hirway has strayed from his
punk and hardcore roots by constructing 12 delicate
tracks of mope-core at its best. Recorded in the
intimacy of the duo's own homes, that sodality translates
through all of the nearly 40 minutes of music on
this disc. The opening track, "Flicker,"
gives a good impression of what's to come; finger-plucked
acoustic guitar strings, organ layers, muted drum
sequences and bandmate Jane Yakowitz's somber violin
provide the perfect backdrop for Hirway's nostalgic
lyrics, which are sung in a breathy hush. "The
House We Will Make" finds Hirway longing for
the day he'll "sleep in on Sunday/ The sheets
and the sun's rays will close all around/ Wash over
like ocean sounds." And so goes this record;
the seemingly perfect soundtrack for waking out
of a dream, only to find yourself surrounded by
warmth and beauty.
- - - - -
On The Hum of the Electric Air!, the One AM Radio
deliver a delicate, intrinsically beautiful set
of songs. Jane Yakowitz and Hrishikesh Hirway are
a sharp pair in carefully constructing an indie/dream-pop
style. There's an intimacy similar to the likes
of Parker & Lily, Galaxie 500 and Sparklehorse
and that highlights the duo's perfectionism as well.
"I Think This Is My Exit" and "The
House We Will Make" are romantic, charming
songs where orchestral arrangements float around
basic acoustics. "Lonesome Moon" prances
with more of an upbeat sound, but Hirway's lush,
plaintive lyrics are smart in luring a listener
in. You want to hear something more, learn something
more from the inquisitive world of the One AM Radio.
Their debut album is a perfect fit for those gray-like,
quiet singular moments where your mind pauses. The
Hum of the Electric Air allows one to find a clarity
among the musical haze.
- - - - - -
This 12" record could almost be described as
futuristic folk music, a combination of programmed
beats in parts and organic acoustic and other string
instrument flourishes. It's essentially the one
man army of Hrishikesh Hirway with help from Jane
Yakowitz on violin and cello by Ravenna Michalsen
on two tracks. The music is very mellow and slow,
made all the more so by the use of the aforementioned
violin. Hirway's singing is very quiet and subdued.
He doesn't show much range, but the overall affair
has a soothing feel about it.
"The Hum Of The Electric Air!" opens with
"Flicker", complete with hazy guitar textures
and echoey drum sequencing. "The House We Will
Make" features uncomplicated strumming and
an unmasked desire for a happy future: "We'll
want for naught. All that we'll need will be all
that we've got. And we'll never speak of days when
we'd desperately seek shelter from terrible storms,
trying just to keep safe and warm."
The middle portion of the record pays more attention
to the beats, particularly on the instrumental "Heat
Lightning", complete with shimmering keyboards.
The keys take on a siren sounding effect in "The
Landmine", while wispy percussion creates an
airy bed. "Gravity" contains both crunchy
drum programming and live percussion in an otherwise
stripped down composition. "Away, Into The
Light" is a fitting end to the effort with
a foundation of mournful orgran and lyrics dealing
with loss. Hirway has successfully blended elements
of folk and electronic music into a unique and equal
parts pulsating and mollifying sound, complete with
raw and eloquent language--a work of understated
- - - - -
The One AM Radio is a two piece who make really
pretty songs. Really very pretty songs. They
use subtleties to an extreme, with each minimal
piece laid onto another to create a semi-complex
structure and overall buzz of sound. The sound
is translucent and eerie, sweet and engrossing.
Fills the background without moving into your
space. It is pretty much make out music. I
sometimes find this band to be too minimal and somewhat
boring, but the material on this LP is the best
i have heard so far. If I listen to it in
my car I might just fall asleep and run off the
road, but it is a nice way to go.
- - - - -
Hrishikesh Hirway and Jane Yakowitz offer sublime
gorgeous sounds and lyrics backed by a soothing
combination of classical strings and electronic
riffs. Haunting and unforgettable. [4 stars]
- - - - -
What do you say about music that is amazing? What
do you say about music that moves you, that touches
you, that opens your eyes? What do you say about
the One AM Radio? The brainchild of Hrishikesh Hirway,
the One AM Radio has been kicking arond the east
coast for a few years, and has put out a few records
here and there [most notably a split 7" with
ex-Chisel frontman Ted Leo], but this is the band's
first proper full length.
Musically, I'm stymied as to what to compare this
album to. Vocally, Hirway tends to sound like a
more somber Stuart Murdoch of Belle & Sebastian
at times, and at others he sounds like a less eerie
version of Brian McMahon [of Slint/The For Carnation].
The music slides along over twelve distinct tracks,
some as stripped down as just vocals and guitar,
some containing swirling keyboards and samples.
A few songs ["Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind"
and "Gravity"] have a bit of a trip-hop
breakbeat feel to them as Hirway croons lines like
"You lost the language right out of your mouth
/ An instinct to scream, but no sound would come
out." Virtually every song on the album seems
to deal with loss in some form, whether it be a
lover, friend, or possibly family member. Hirway's
lyrics are obtuse without being confusing, and heartfelt
without being cliche. I could see sloppy comparisons
being made to Jonah of Far/OneLineDrawing/New End
Original, but this is way better. This is as good
as it gets, folks.
Violinist Jane Yakowitz rounds out the duo, adding
a much desired female presence. Even though she
doesn't sing on the recordings [well, the liner
notes say she does, but I have yet to pick out her
voice anywhere], her violin lines just burst with
feminine emotion on tracks such as "I Think
This Is My Exit." It's hard to write a review
for a really, really good CD. The One AM Radio's
"The Hum Of The Electric Air!" is just
that - a really, really good CD. It's nearly flawless.
Open your mind and buy this, you can thank me later.
- - - - - -
(Claremont, CA): Hrishikesh Hirway is The One AM Radio and has
existed as such through multiple singles and splits,
The Hum of the Electric Air being his first full-length.
Hirway demonstrates the rare ability to craft songs
in such a manner that they could be experienced
with the same amount of pleasure no matter your
mood. Perfect for the love sensation of a spring
day and also apt for the harsh loneliness of a cold
winter night. Hirways tales of magical weather
and anxiety are wrapped in the rainy day assistance
of organ, violin, cello, acoustic treatment, and
of course Hirways yielding and comforting
voice. Hirway has taken residence in Los Angeles
and thus his label Translucence, from which The
Hum of Electric Air was released (alongside Alone
and The Electric Human Project depending on the
format) has begun to thrive with releases from friends
such as The Wind-Up Bird and Ted Leo. Highly recommended
for studying, dreaming, kissing, crying, smiling,
- - - - - -
The One AM Radio contains two individuals: Hrishikesh
Hirway, who plays a major role in the make-up of
The One AM Radios sound by supplying his talents
in vocals, guitar, keyboard, drum sequencing, and
organ; and Jane Yakowitz, Hirways tag-team
partner, plays violin and lends some vocal support
along the way. Together they help produce tranquil
music that lingers and haunts like no other band
that youve ever heard of.
Hirways gentle, soft-spoken voice possesses
a hypnotic quality that will soothe the most restless
of listeners. His composed baritone delivery is
the main focus of The One AM Radios sound.
Sooyoung Park (Seam), Ira Kaplan (Yo La Tengo),
and Hirway all share the same characteristic: their
voices contain a rare, smooth magnetic appeal.
Dont Panic, Measured Mile
Begins, and Away, Into the Light
are especially enriched with Janes poignant
violin work coming to the fore at just the right
times. The Hum of the Electric Air! contains slight
strums of an acoustic guitar, a humming organ, and
faint pulses of a drum sequencer that are always
present, but never the focal point. The One AM Radios
sound is clean and minimal, proving that less is
The Hum of the Electric Air! is an amiable record
with twelve emotional tracks. As much as the songs
are beautiful, they also generate a sense of sadness
and melancholy similar to such moody bands as Best
Boy Electric, Yo La Tengo, and Low. The One AM Radio
is for the pensive soul.
- - - - - -
I don't know much about The One AM Radio, but I
do know enough to enjoy them. I know that they have
records out on Troubleman Unltd., Alone, and Electric
Human Project. All those labels seem to have pretty
crazy releases, yet The One AM Radio is remarkably
subdued (at least on this album).
I would compare them to a more produced and fuller
sounding Rocky Votolato, or a much more complex/sad
Kings Of Convenience, but more along the lines of
Mogwai. They seem really familiar but it's hard
to tag them. Every song has the same sort of dreamy
feel, yet it also sort of makes me think of being
under water. Not sure if that makes sense, but that's
definitely the feeling I get from them.
Of Sight, Out Of Mind" has to be my favorite
track on this album. The end seems really chaotic,
however it still maintains a pretty overall sound.
The One AM Radio is doing something great, that's
for sure. This was something that took me a long
time to get into. I've been listening to it off
and on for a long time but today it just hit me...
like a bag of snow globes full of sand. Weird but
true, believe me.
those with short attention spans... don't bother.
For those who are hoping this is some crazy release
from Alone/Electric Human Project... forget about
it. But for those who can appreciate something new
and unexpected, this is certainly for you. Although
The One AM Radio is on the quieter side of the spectrum,
I could see them being really good live. Uplifting
music is always nice to see performed on stage,
and this certainly is uplifting in my (mind) ears.
Instruments on this album range from acoustic guitar,
keyboards, horns, wood-winds, a drum machine, and
much more, or at least that's what I seem to be
making out. Vocals hang right over all these beautiful
instruments and come together in a barrage of sound
that can lull a person to sleep, or create the soundtrack
for the perfect day. This one is highly recommended
if you can sit through the whole thing.
the one am radio plays beautiful, soft songs
using various electronics, drums, and stringed instruments.
using soft harmonies, and a soft voice, the one
am radio sets a nice, calm mood that can chill out
the most intense person within range. [ Rating:
- - - - -
i've been a big fan of pretty much everything this
band has put out, and this full length is no exception
to that. as much as i love brutal music, i love
mellow and pretty music just as much. the one am
radio are one of my favorite bands that fall into
this category, and will continue to be that way
until their ride is over. do yourselves a favor,
buy this cd.
- - - - - -
[ NOTE: the following is from a french
website, matamore.net, where we were reviewed as
album of the week. the almost incomprehensible translation
is courtesy of google; it's only somewhat useful,
but has some moments of hilarity. if you want to
read the actual review in the original french, click
The One Radio operator Am is the project of Hrishikesh
Hirway and of his/her partner violonist Jane Yakowitz,
duet couples formed with the spring of lannée
2000. Several preceding small sizes this first album,
The Hum of Electric Air quon will describe fully
as head dSuvre slo-fi slackened.
There is all dabord the voice of Hrishikesh, calm,
slackened, whispered, melancholic person and vibrating
who points out the stamp of Sooyoung Park (Seam),
Jeff Gramm (Aden) or Will go Kaplan (Yo Tengo).
There are then these bitter soft melodies and close
friends like a call to be taken refuge under the
couette, to go under the cherry trees in flowers
of spring or to look at children playing whereas
the snowflakes fall thick, at the end of December.
There is this capacity also to awake the kind with
lintelligence of discrete and subjacent electronic
The Hum of Electric Air is a disc which uses and
develops the good notions of comfort, a beautiful
softness melancholic person and subtle which brings
the good being, which protects us from the immediate
risks to let come up on the surface lune or lautre
more intimate and major reflexion.
The Hum of Electric air, this buzz to lair electric,
cest a little as this démotion fraction which
makes that lon can be suddenly happy. The One Radio
operator Am can make happy and this nest not little,
to colour the gray clouds in white, to withdraw
the fine gravels of sand. Hrishikesh Hirway is an
The One Radio operator AM starts by leaving séchapper
a piece which will put any fan of slowcore at knees,
Flicker where how in a few two minutes to join together
and reconcile in the same vibration the fans of
Low, Carissas Wierd, Galaxie 500, Idaho and Chuzzlewit.
Acoustic guitar delicately pinch, layers planing
and modified dorgue, drum sequences, dark and haunted
violin, and air, delicate song and melancholic person.
The perfect song, that for which the button repeat
seems to be invented.
All delicately disappears separately an electric
guitar pinch, the envoûtant song of Hrishikesh
and intelligent and discrete and significant programming
electronic. Soft setting in prospect which soffre
with the romanticism melancholic person with larrivée
dun opened out violin. I Think This Is My Exit,
one cannot beautiful any more entry for a disc.
The One Radio operator AM has beautiful being a
duet, they lend itself to quasi orchestral arrangements.
There is a brittleness melancholic person armed
with light delicacy, such quon had not met them
The House We Will Make lets see the duet under one
day more alleviated and stripped, guitar folk, whispered
voice and discrete violin, the ideal song to listen
with the radio at one o'clock in the morning, with
low volume and reduced luminosity. No the upheavals
with lhorizon, just accumulated tiredness and seeks
it dun little calms and peace, found here, like
pre-necessary with the sleep.
On Don' T Panic the violin reigns as a Master, which
accentuates the romanticism of the song and its
sad aspects, one thinks of the most alleviated moments
of Carissas Wierd, but the voice of Hrishikesh keeps
a special charm which makes lensemble particular
This same violin disappears on Out of Sight, Out
of Mind, relayed by rhythmic which misses little
of rappeller The Blue Nile, lun of rare the piece
banals of the disc with its discrete approach new
Heat Lightning serves dintermède to introduce
us with the second part of lalbum, there is something
in this instrumental court, the guitar and the rhythmic
one undoubtedly, which point out Acetate Zero. A
little more upbeat and electronics, The Landmine
has one I do not know what which points out Speed.
Many comparisons, but that helps to carry out lespèce
mystery which The One Radio operator AM constitutes.
The Hum of Electric Air a head dSuvre slowcore who
sins his emotions melancholic persons and fragile
with the crossroads of indie kinds.
Hrishikesh Hirway knew to vary to perfection lhabillage
its pieces, so that never its album does not sound
too monotonous or repetitive. All is on same the
mood often, but diversity and there and the landscapes
ravel, succeeding in preserving lattention of lSil.
The luminosity of these crossed spaces clarifies
in a way different each piece. Lonesome Moon has
thus a heart more folk, sung the guitar as under
a moonlight one harms dété, beautiful,
On Measured Mile Begins the violin gives nostalgic
colours, instrumental which comes like a breathing
at named the right moment, as a pause between two
stages at the time dune gone up descaliers where
lon discovers through a small dusty window a landscape
of countryside dautomne, with the colors sharp.
Rhythmic more choking and cold on Gravity, song
close and fine like a net deau with two fingers
of the confession, pains quasi palpable electronic
melancholic persons. One of most beautiful and moving
pieces of lalbum, darkest too.
Easy then to lie down on the ground and to lose
with lécoute desperate We Are Also What We'
ve Lost which sounds more like piece of group than
like that dun duet. Beautiful research on the modified
tablecloths of guitar. Of share its rhythmic electronic,
The One AM Radio operator sinvente in these moments
there of the transatlantic friendships with the
English of Weevil or Saso.
Away, Into the Light finishes The Hum of Electric
Air with a taste of victory in mouth. Song of plenitude
melancholic person on bottom of tablecloths dorgue
Masterly album, great group. The One Radio operator
AM forms part with Gregor Samsa, Carissas Wierd,
Komeit or Sea Life Park of these great discoveries
of lannée 2002. One will come and return
still humer to lair of these opened out and discrete
compositions, of this comfortable but especially
fragile and beneficial universe
Recent Yale grad Hrishikesh Hirway enraptures tender
late-night moments with handcrafted sounds. Hirway
has evolved the art of the DIY recording from scratchy,
ear-pinching four-track tapes to sounds cycled through
advanced electronic equipment. Along with a tightly
knit supporting cast -- violinist Jane Yakowitz,
upright bassist Paul Findlen and trumpeter Joseph
Grimm -- Hirway's second volume, proves that this
newfound technique lends delicacy and affords greater
imaginative pursuits like intentional skipping on
"Shivers," soft-and-bouncy beats on "Witness"
and lush symphonics throughout. All the while, his
library-level hushed voice guides us as the clock's
hand edges from one second to the next.
- - - - - -
from Time Out New York:
Hrishikesh Hirway, auteur of the One AM Radio,
clearly knew where he wanted to go with his music
well before he figured out how to get there. The
proof is found in two homespun songs on his project's
1999 debut release. The opening line of "Ohm's
Law" ("Brush your lips against the windowpane,
your eyes fixed on the horizon") marked Hirway
as a careful observer of moments on the verge, while
the glowering feedback that swells midway through
"Ninety Nine, One Hundred" foreshadowed
his gift for musically rendering breathless anticipation.
Five years layer, Hirway has enlisted a pair of
collaborators in his wistful balladry. The first,
musical partner Jane Yakowitz, expands Hirway's
palette with her winsome voice, violin and singing
saw. The other is Hirway's laptop, with which he
fashioned the glitchy breakbeats and buzzing soundscapes
that animate the One AM Radio's latest release,
A Name Writ in Water (Level Plane). The songs on
the disc blossom with a newfound expansiveness,
like the poignant fragility of Iron and Wine as
choreographed by the Postal Service. Rumbling guitars
evoke the elements in "Under Thunder and Gale,"
while "Drowsy Haze" floats on an amniotic
current, prodded by heartbeat percussion.
Still, the effects never overshadow Hirway's innate
knack for lyrical illumination. In a recent performance
with Yakowitz plus a second guitarist, a bassist
and his own slightly temperamental laptop, Hirway
demonstrated that lines like "When night falls,
there's electricity in the air on your bare arms
that sings of what can be" (from "Witness")
carry more charge than any patch or loop.
- - - - - -
The easiest critical dart to toss at an electronic
musician is to suggest that his/her music doesn't
boast the same kind of greasy, crooked fingerprints
that lend other, non-computerized genres a sense
of humanity. But Hrishikesh Hirway, the lone face
behind the electric-bedroom swansongs of The One
AM Radio, is perfectly poised to prove the opposite
true, twisting and pulling his beats and effects
until they burn like fingernails. Folding soft,
singer/songwriter laments into fuzzy washes of constructed
sound, A Name Writ in Water, The One AM Radio's
second full-length, is a collection of swooning
folk songs, just sweet and compelling enough to
make your well-worn Nick Drake tapes feel curiously
obsolete. And while they may not be as gory as a
seven-minute guitar solo, Hirway's tracks still
dripping with loads of gooey heart.
Since teaming with violinist Jane Yakowitz in 1999,
Hirway has gradually delved deeper and deeper into
folktronica nuance, rolling out subtle, beat-tinged
poems and spare, instrumental elegies. Most of A
Name Writ in Water trades in blurry transitions:
The stunning opener, "What You Gave Away",
starts with gently shaken percussion as Hirway's
soft vocals give way to a fleeting violin wail and
quivering maracas falling into puttering beats.
Hirway's coos slip into computerized warbles, and
a plaintive trumpet finally overtakes the melody,
ending in a haze of sharp, sad yowls. Standout "Shivers"
opens with glitchy drones and woozy violins, its
emotional narrative only stronger for its lack of
vocals. "Buried Below", though, is defiantly
straightforward, its light acoustic strums and nervous
drums backing Hirway's multi-tracked, melancholic
Hirway's lyrics can occasionally seem convoluted
("Streetlights spark to life as we pass by/
Caught in panes of warehouse windows and reflecting
in your eyes/ Lying on your lawn on our sides/ We'll
stay outside"), and are generally preoccupied
with standard issues of movement, life, death, loss
and love. But Hirway's prose is also peppered with
imagistic bits of landscape, all grass and dust
and summer sunsets. Coupled with his breathy, organic
whispers, much of A Name Writ in Water invites big,
natural metaphors, somehow only easily comparable
to snow-capped mountain ranges or towering, Sigur
Rós-ian icecaps. His compositions simply
Unsurprisingly, A Name Writ in Water is stubbornly
unassuming in its prettiness, inadvertently figuring
songs as portraits, melodies as promises. While
not nearly as pert or quirky as The Postal Service's
like-minded debut, The One AM Radio is just as addictive--
but Hirway's version of America is less concerned
with enigmatically assassinated presidents, and
more interested in charting the gray spots between
highways and oceans, between guitars and laptops.
The maps he draws are beautiful. [8.1 / 10]
- - - - - -
from All Music Guide:
Hrishikesh Hirway's second full-length as the One
AM Radio, A Name Writ in Water, is a warm, folky
electro-acoustic album that evokes a sunnier, beachside
Múm. The murky and disembodied sounds that
float through these compositions give the impression
of light refracting to the depths of a calm and
peaceful ocean floor. Songs like "Drowsy Haze"
are true to their titles in mood as well as lyrical
content: "Drowsy haze of those summer days
was deep in my lungs," Hirway sings on the
breezy bedroom dream pop number. The Pacific Northwest
coast, rusting memories, trips to the lake, glimmering
city skylines, and the nostalgia of car trips are
all themes that populate this earthy electronic
record. Occasionally, Hirway works with stuttering
beats as on "Shivers," for example.
But in a curious fashion, Hirway is actually much
more of a singer/songwriter than other likeminded
bedroom electro-acoustic gurus like Four Tet or
Manitoba, and he is at his strongest when he keeps
the beats spare and organic, even simple. Of course,
it's all of the live instrumentation that really
sets the One AM Radio apart (and makes the Múm
comparison so clear) from Hirway's gentle
guitar picking to Jane Yakowitz' violin, Paul Findlen's
upright bass, and Joseph Grimm's trumpet playing.
Finally, production and mixing by avant hip-hop
maestro Daedelus seems essential to A Name Writ
in Water, providing an atmosphere similar to Daedelus'
own recordings a thick, soft sound that makes
the record much more lush than the similar work
of a band like the Postal Service and perfectly
suits the subtle boom-bip of a track like "Witness."
All in all, a stunning follow-up to a great debut
that should become a hallmark of folktronica along
with Boards of Canada's Music Has the Right to Children
and Greg Davis' Curling Pond Woods.
- - - - - -
The second full-length from this outfit is aptly-titled:
its shifting styles and fluid melodies are hard
to pin down, a dreamy mix of vocals, guitars, synths,
violins, and ambient beats. Bandleader Hrishikesh
Hirway brings in guest musicians to add weight to
the spare and dispassionate vocals and the result
is both lush and thoughtful. Highlights include
"Lucky," where a string-backed Hirway
croons about not accidentally driving off a cliff,
and "Fever Dream," where the delicate
guitar sustains Hirway as he sings about memory
and desire. The effect is lingering like sleep,
and just as enigmatic.
— Luciana Lopez
- - - - - -
from Splendid Magazine:
I don't know what ClearChannel belches up into
the airwaves after midnight in your neck of the
empire, but I'll bet The One AM Radio outshines
it. From the moment it opens with the gentle, susurrous
wisp of a lonely shaker, this honey-coated tour
de coax is all about the lush, caressing softness
best expressed in the wee hours. Hrishikesh Hirway
crafts the album's 13 tracks largely out of understated
percussion programming, acoustic guitar, upright
bass, violin, almost unbearably gorgeous trumpet
and his own simmering voice. The application of
this bare instrumentation alone spells the likelihood
of success, but it's Hirway's songwriting that steals
Lyrically through-composed, Hirway's compositions
don't even nod toward the verse/chorus structures
we've all been raised on. Opener "What You
Gave Away" begins with the line, "The
Pacific Northwest coast holds a place I'd longed
to see," and at once I'm hooked. As a recent
transplant to Washington state, I'm a sucker for
its most poetic adherents, but like the bulk of
A Name Writ in Water, the line brushes by and then
aside, hardly leaving time to nestle in before the
next wave of caressing overtakes it.
The proper songs are laced through with instrumental
tracks that further sugar the experience. Without
an edge of irony, "I Didn't Speak the Language"
features humming over spacious guitar arpeggios,
and "Shivers" floats on Kid A-inflected
beat-splicing that's too saccharine to be mistaken
for frenetic. Between these, "Fever Dream"
takes the image of dry brush awaiting an incendiary
spark as a springboard for a rumination on the aching
pull of waiting, any waiting at all -- that lazy
tug of knowing something welcome's yet to come.
This coastal motion, the ebb and regress by which
The One AM Radio stakes its claim to electro-singer/songwriter
greatness, elevates the work from the merely beautiful
to bona fide art. Like all art worth its weight
in the materials that went into its making, A Name
Writ in Water can't be fully appreciated in one
dose. There's far more here than the velvet veneer,
and few are the discs that are as generous in the
mutually exclusive contexts of solitude and coupling.
Either way, given the insipid vacuity of most radio
programming at any hour, the comparison implicit
in Hirway's moniker almost certainly sells the music
- - - - - -
With the One AM Radio's second proper full-length, songwriter Hrishikesh Hirway and violinist Jane Yakowitz have moved their music beyond simple labels like "dream pop" or "folktronica." Hushed, delicate, expansive, and beautiful, A Name Writ In Water (Level Plane) is the soundtrack of daydreaming, sleeping under stars, and the lonely, ever-hunting heart.
— Annie Tomlin
- - - - - -
from Mean Streets:
THE ONE A.M. RADIO is the work of local singer-songwriter
HRISHIKESH HIRWAY. Hirway has called upon local
electronic luminaries DAEDELUS and JOHN TEJADA to
help mix and master the album, and it shows. The
record is a collection of thirteen lovely electro-acoustic
hybrids that fall somewhere in between bedroom electronics
and folksy songwriting. The fragility of the music
box melodies contained within call to mind acts
like FOUR TET or MUM, while Hirway’s scenic
lyrics conjure up memories of hazy summer sunsets
and isolated stretches of sand. The inescapable
draw of life on the road is a common theme throughout,
making this the perfect soundtrack to your next
summer road trip.
— Brock Phillips
- - - - - -
from Delusions of Adequacy:
This review will never do justice to the beauty
of A Name Writ in Water. Honestly folks, you need
to hear this to understand. Even the packaging is
beautiful with its gray translucent cover of an
endless ocean horizon, which is a good physical
description of the music, endless shades of gray
Hrishikesh Hirway, mastermind of The One AM Radio,
describes his sound as being somewhere between
bedroom electronica and singer/songwriter.
To get a little more accurate perception of what
to expect, think the delicate simplicity of Iron
& Wine, the flawless mixture of electronica
and real instrumentation of Namelessnumberheadman,
and the lush textured arrangements of Badly Drawn
Boy. That is definitely a lot of high praise, but
Hirway, having released a whole slew of EPs and
splits with the likes of Ted Leo, proves his legitimacy.
I am really impressed with Hirways knack for
knowing when to let the music do the talking. For
the most part, A Name Writ in Water, as well as
his past works, is minimal on the instrumentation
relying more on lush sound washes and Hirways
eerily beautiful hushed vocals take center stage.
However, he does a wonderful job of building up
the musics intensity enough to where his voice
is no longer needed to fill your headphones. In
fact, two of my favorite songs, This is a
Document and Shivers, are completely
instrumental and utilize the violin.
The main difference between this album and past
One AM Radio releases is the addition of more upbeat,
almost danceable beats. Those Distant Lights
is the best example of this new-found upbeat poppy
sound with its almost Nintendo-like synth lines
floating over a nice poppy drumbeat. Witness
has what is easily my favorite vocal melody on the
record when he sings The grass and dust and
summer dusk is just settling down. Theres
nowhere we would rather be. As day wanes, our shadows
stretch below. Its perfect where we are, as
the sun hangs low.
The most amazing thing about this record is Hirways
uncanny ability to use multiple instruments - trumpet,
violin, singing saw, upright bass - and throw in
some very organic electronics to create seamless
ballads. The second most amazing thing is that it
will be released on Level Plane of all places. The
thing that makes this so amazing is I would never
in a million years expect Level Plane to release
something like this. Level Plane is better known
for manic hardcore by the likes of City of Caterpillar,
Neil Perry, and Racebannon. But thank goodness they
got a hold of this lovely record. I guess if I had
to come up with some sort of complaint for this
record it would be that the songs are not long enough.
Most of these songs dont even break the three-minute
mark, which I think is a crime. Thats really
not that much of a complaint though because there
are 13 songs that provide plenty of music to digest
without getting boring, and I definitely want more.
I am interested in seeing if Hirway will keep with
the more upbeat feel of this album or if he will
go back to the more mellow approach. Either way,
Im sure his future outputs will be as gorgeous
as this one if not better.