Landing – Circuit


The word “dreamy” doesn’t quite go far enough for a band like Landing. It’s no coincidence that some of their biggest fans are the Kranky band Windy & Carl, a more ambient project who recently completed a tour and split-EP with Landing. In a way, Windy & Carl’s ambient sonic sounds are one extreme, while Landing’s sonic washes of noise are the other, with both accomplishing the same thing. Both bands create almost hypnotic, dreamy music that pushes the boundaries of what you’re used to having music do, although I’d say Landing’s more pop-based approach is more accessible.
The components of Landing’s music are fairly simple: guitars, keyboards, light drumwork, and both male and female vocals are so textured and layered that you almost get the sense that it’s all one instrument, constantly swirling around you. I bet this would sound great on headphones. The sounds here reverberate in your ears, at times almost desperately quiet, at others almost crashing with a kind of anxious feeling. But never does the band lose its spaced-out, dreamy, hypnotic approach, and that’s what makes these songs so impressive.
“White Walls” kicks things off, and amidst the ethereal vocals and sonic soundscapes are these spacey, looping sounds that propel this song out of a dreamy torpor and into something much more urgent. Guitars are a bit more of the focus on “Convergence,” and while the female vocals are used sparingly, the real focus is the ocean-like washes of noise that come like waves behind those gorgeous keyboards and guitar lines. The more quiet “Held” uses more repetition, and I can’t even begin to pick out words from the gorgeous vocals. There’s almost a Sigur Ros feel to the band in moments like this. The band truly merges their strong vocalists’ abilities on “Across the Sky,” a gorgeous track that lays soft drumming over layers of keyboards and spacey sounds. You almost won’t notice the song is 13 minutes long.
Proving at the heart of this band’s songs are well-structured pop songs, “Summer Song” has more of a rhythm and melody than most of the other sonic washes of sound here, and you could almost sing along and bob your head to the nice guitar. It’s the perfect timing in this album for such a track, because “Coming Down” tends to drone a bit and the closer, “A Song,” which is, in fact, a song, and it seems looser, more abstract than any of their other compositions. Vocals come in and out, the guitar resonates over the constant sonic background, and the whole song has a kind of Alice in Wonderland sort of trippy feel.
Landing manage to layer in enough sounds and use enough guitars and drones to create an album that can’t really be background music. There’s too many interesting sounds looping past your ears and swirling around you. I imagine a live show with fantastic lights and images projected to make this more of a complete sensory experience. There’s some wonderful music in here amid layers of sonic washes of soft sound.