The American Dollar

Ambient Three

Written by: DR on 31/03/2013 20:57:59

In 2012, The American Dollar released an LP titled "Awake In The City", an instrumental rock record by all accounts, and a good one at that. Later in the same year, they released "Ambient Three", a release intended as a companion-piece to "Awake In The City". It has the same songs in the same order (with five extra songs at the end), only the songs here are, as the title suggests, ambient and more electronically-driven than in their previous form. It's an interesting transition that The American Dollar make, but one that actually makes sense.

Rather appropriately, The American Dollar based in New York. "Awake In The City" had the feel of a New York-esque metropolis approaching twilight: there were remnants of business in there, but it played more calmly and at a less-hurried pace than many of their genre contemporaries would dare to try. "Ambient Three", however, has the feel of the city at night: its sound is darker, yet it's immensely calm, peaceful and haunting in the kind of way that's fitting of a metropolis at night. The textures of electronic and more classical instruments are spotlessly combined throughout, flowing and intertwining with so much ease that it feels natural. Indeed, there's an impressive poise between darker and lighter efforts that gives the album a soundtrack-esque quality, offering moments of uncertainty, euphoria and peace for the listener to dissolve into.

Given how deliberately subdued the songs are, "Ambient Three" lands relatively close to ambient artists such as Brian Eno and The Album Leaf. Moreover, the quietness of "Ambient Three" lends a hypnotism to the compositions. Over the course of its hour, it's hard to pick out specific songs that stand out. However, that's the point: from the album's chilling opening to its uplifting end, you'll largely be immersed in The American Dollar's music. While it's not quite otherworldly in the manner of the best ambient artists, "Ambient Three" is a good demonstration of a band managing to explore other sonic territories without it sounding awkward or transitional. Though you're not quite taken to another world, you are taken to another city, and one you'll find happiness in exploring.

Download: Any/all of it
For The Fans of: The American Dollar, Brian Eno, AUN, The Album Leaf
Listen: Facebook

Release Date 15.09.2012
Self-Released

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