Rhythm & Views

The One AM Radio

Hrishikesh Hirway, the mastermind behind The One AM Radio, has a voice that is vast in its quietness. Hirway's genius is this creation of immenseness from the smallest sounds, and the songs on This Too Will Pass, his fourth full-length, coast on his whispers as electronic and acoustic instruments (including violin and cello contributed by former Tucsonans Jane Yakowitz and Lara Cushing, respectively) swim alongside.

Unlike Hirway's previous records, This Too Will Pass has more acoustic drums than electric, which makes the album sound warmer, simpler and quieter, even when the lyrics are despondent, and even when, at times, the songs cascade into deeper, darker swells. The refrain of "You Can Still Run," combined with the haunting chorus of ah-ah-ah-ahs, turns a strangely dark song into something affirmative, and the swaying guitars and strings on "Cast Away" reach upward even as Hirway sings, "The first thing you saw when you washed up onto the shore were the words 'I don't love you anymore' scrawled into the sand." Horns and delayed guitars burst into loud drums on "Fires," and then "The Echoing Airports" settles back into strings and electronic beats more reminiscent of Hirway's previous records.

Perhaps the most buoyant song on the record, "Mercury" combines a wonderfully catchy French horn melody with electronic rhythms and swirling acoustic guitars. At their loudest, the instruments never overshadow that quiet, breathful voice, and at their quietest, they hum with incredible power.

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