Let’s start with the obvious: if you name your band something like Endless Melancholy, then you should know you’re setting your audience’s expectations pretty high. In other words, with a name like that, you better deliver the melancholy. Fortunately for Oleksiy Sakevych, the man behind the overwrought moniker, his sad, swirling dreampop does just that.
I’ve been following Sakevych’s music for awhile now, and A Perception of Everything is about as good an introduction as any release in his extensive catalog. Inspired by Sakevych’s travels, and making heavy use of field recordings and synth pads, the album’s nine songs are as diaphanous and drifting as clouds high overhead on a fine spring day or lace curtains stirring softly in the summer breeze.
If you’re looking for music that can make you feel like you’re taking the best nap you’ve ever had despite being fully awake, or music that sounds like the sonic equivalent of thumbing through old keepsakes and faded photos, then this is the album for you.
Each of the album’s songs — which boast suggestive titles like “Letting the Old Dreams Die” and “Across the Barren Land” — feel like they’re slowly wrapping themselves around the listener thanks to unfurling synths, crackling tape loops, and delicate tones. The music is hazy and out-of-focus, like everything’s been run through Photoshop’s “Gaussian Blur” filter. Or put more poetically, like a dream that fades upon waking even as you struggle to recall it.
However, the same ethereality that makes the music so captivating can also be a liability at times. The songs on A Perception of Everything can become so hazy as to be insubstantial and inconsequential. Lovely, yes, but insubstantial. The album’s strongest moments, like “The Edge” and “As the World Quietly Ends” — a title that feels a wee bit on-the-nose given everything happening these days — possess a sense of structure and direction that, rather than weighing the ethereal music down, makes it all the more evocative.