If you’ve been following The Ark for a while, you might be familiar with the masterful instrumental work of New Latitude. We’ve been lucky enough to get our hands on their 2017 album Vantage Point, and their following 2020 release Wood, Steel, and Grace, both works we found to be soothing, relaxing, and inspiring. The band has kicked off 2021 with the release of a new single – Softer than Silence embodies everything we’ve come to love about this exceedingly talented group.
Prominently featuring founding members Dave Erickson and Jim Carr on acoustic guitars, Softer than Silence was “inspired by the beauty and tranquility of fresh snow in a pine forest” according to the band. True to their nature, this single radiates technical skill alongside true musicality – it’s as brilliantly executed as it is composed.
It’s a common misconception that writing instrumental music is an easier feat than writing music with lyrics. But when there are no words, the music itself must speak to the listener – it must captivate them, paint images with sound, and create a connection in a unique and verifiably challenging way. This, however, never seemed to be much of a challenge for New Latitude, and Softer than Silence is a beautiful tribute to that concept. Without ever reading about the song’s origins, the soft and deep acoustic guitars that introduce the song to us evoke feelings of nature and solitude, gently ushering us down the path to tranquility. The riffs are complex but never overpowering, with just enough movement to pique the ear while staying easily memorable – practically the definition of “easy listening”. The track has a gentle build, picking up slightly at the 1:23 mark, crescendoing through the bridge (perhaps we go from walking through the woods to soaring above them for a moment), before settling back down effortlessly on the other side. It’s a full cinematic journey without ever uttering a word.
We’ve been witness to the creation of a large magnitude of instrumental music, but rarely are we fortunate enough to listen to instrumental tracks that are so deep, dynamic, and powerful, without ever feeling over-produced or inauthentic. Softer than Silence is all of this and more – a near-perfect tribute to a natural wonder that pulls you into a world of your own imagining from the first measure onwards. New Latitude has once again delivered us superb music deserving of the highest praise.
BELOW: Listen to Softer than Silence by New Latitude, and connect with their website and social media platforms. Please support New Latitude by visiting them online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing their music, or attending a live show! And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!
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