People for Audio – The New Ancients

People for Audio
The New Ancients

People for Audio’s The New Ancients is an organic series of tracks featuring connected sounds, instrumental shorts and even a few songs. Unfortunately, the album will fail to bring most listeners back for more.

This is unfortunate because People for Audio’s bold departure from the modern album form is admirable. Modern albums are usually compilations of singles with a few skits or filler tracks. By connecting this odd assortment of sound samples, interludes and songs, The New Ancients plays like a real album. Listeners must take it in its entirety.

For 50 minutes The New Ancients flows falteringly between warm, aimless ambles and darkening, hushed bouts of stillness. It’s not beautiful ambiance – it’s just a different album that is absurdly traditional and answerable to a lot of subjective interpretation.

Track 1, “Carlos”, is a compelling, winding instrumental. The psychedelic rocker “Captain” is focused, original – by far the best track. Several instrumentals follow: “The Old Identical” and “The Night Shift”, then the seven minute-plus “Black Memory White Whale” featuring a grating slide guitar lead. “St. Henri’s Back Porch”, yet another instrumental, is more relaxed and features a more understated slide guitar. “Olos Okeik” is a lovely piano piece. “Thanks for Asking” is audio of people moving and echoed voices, probably studio noise. “The Old Identical 2” is another soothing piano figure. “Halfway” is more noise and sound. Track 12, “From City to Country”, is over 10 minutes, with more slide guitar, piano, a lot of dynamics and a prominent Gilmour-led Pink Floyd influence. This track gives a serious effort at making sense of the previous tracks’ eclecticisms and oddities. But the album ultimately ends with “You Said It Before”, a lazy, incomplete ballad to one’s self.

In all, The New Ancients features three classic rock-inspired psychedelic jams with vocals. The other 33 minutes are sound samples and instrumentals. This collection is interesting, and “Captain” is a fantastic song. But rather than give effort to appreciate the elusive content, many listeners will judge that People for Audio didn’t put enough content in this effort.