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Mike Howe - Lichens (2015) Lossless
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Mike Howe - Lichens (2015) Lossless

4-01-2016, 07:51
Music | New Age | FLAC / APE

Title: Lichens
Year Of Release: 2015
Label: Mike Howe Music
Genre: New Age
Quality: FLAC
Total Time: 46:04 min
Total Size: 247 MB


01. Into the Night
02. Remember
03. Joni
04. Plains
05. You Know Me
06. Mosaic
07. Lichens
08. Run
09. Firelight
10. Swim
11. Look Up
12. Summer Road

"Lichens" is the fifth release from Welsh guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Mike Howe and his first release as an independent artist. Also an ecologist working in the National Parks of Wales, Howe finds the inspiration for his beautiful music in nature, landscapes and people. For anyone unfamiliar with the meaning of the album title, Webster gives this definition: “any of a large group of small plants composed of a particular fungus and a particular alga growing in an intimate symbiotic association and forming a dual plant, commonly adhering in colored patches or spongelike branches to rock, wood, soil, etc.” Appearing in a wide range of shapes, colors, and textures, and often found in surprising places, it is no wonder that Howe finds lichens fascinating.

In addition to composing, producing and arranging the twelve tracks on this album, Howe plays all of the instruments: acoustic and electric guitars, synths, acoustic and electric bass, keyboards and drums. As an indie artist, he is free to branch out a bit, and some of the tracks are more upbeat and lively than on previous albums. That doesn’t mean that there are screaming electric guitars or car-shaking bass lines, but there is more of a variety of playing styles that indicate the range of Howe’s versatility as an artist.

"Lichens" begins with “Into the Night,” a beautiful, rhythmic piece and a great opener! The dreamy “Remember” features acoustic and electric guitar with an ethereal keyboard backdrop. More ambient than melodic, it creates a quiet mood for reflection. “Joni” has a very pleasant smooth jazz/light rock flavor. “Plains” expresses a warm and gentle peacefulness. Howe’s solo acoustic guitar music often makes me think of walking in the woods or on a hillside and encountering a guitarist sitting under a tree, peacefully lost in his music. The lovely “You Know Me” takes me there - love it! The title track is a slow, graceful beauty with a very haunting quality - tranquility set to music! “Run” picks up the energy level a bit (but not too much) - also a favorite. “Swim” feels like a slow dance at the end of a romantic evening. Keyboard, guitar, and drums played with brushes give it a gentle sway and feelings of warm contentment. “Look Up” is a lovely reminder to be aware of everything around you - a gorgeous guitar piece! “Summer Road” picks up the tempo with an upbeat closing that will have you hitting the “replay” button. Happy vacation days, here we come!

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