When I first heard “Wetlands”, one of the tracks on The Green Kingdom’s upcoming Prismatic album, I found it completely engrossing — which some might chalk up to the fact that it was nearly two in the morning at the time. However, I’ve listened to the song many times since, and the fascination remains.
I won’t lie, though: being in a bleary, partially awake state isn’t a bad thing when it comes to music like this. Digitally manipulated soundscapes, spectral drones (imagine a choir Gaussian blurred a couple of times), groaning violins, simple piano figures, and acoustic guitar all combine to create a truly intriguing sonic environment, one that brings to life the rainy setting of the song’s title.
Obvious points of reference include Tujiko Noriko and Múm, but there’s a pensiveness and melancholy at work within The Green Kingdom’s (aka Michael Cottone) music that gives it a singular emotional heft all its own. In other words, at five minutes or so, “Wetlands” is too short: it’s the sort of ambient track that you want to meander around within and explore for awhile.