‘Adrift In The Whereabouts’ album review

Image courtesy of JessyRibordy.Bandcamp.com

album: Adrift In The Whereabouts
artist: Jessy Ribordy
genre: ambient
release date: October 30, 2020
star rating: four out of five

review by Levi Yager

In a surprise release, Jessy Ribordy recently shared with the world Adrift In The Whereabouts. Nestled in a thick fog of mystery, this instrumental album is an expertly paced, cohesive work of art that will undoubtedly indulge any daydreamer who gives it a listen. By nature, it’s music that tells a story – even without words.

Much of the album’s soundscape is comprised of keys, synthesizers, strings, percussion and various electronics. Some indiscernible vocals occasionally add in as well. Adrift In The Whereabouts mostly leans toward a slower approach – but when it picks up, it can really get your pulse going. The tracklist order allows for each song to stand out in its own way, with many of the more driving tracks separated by pensive epilogues or interludes, if you will.

The first song, “Over The Window,” feels like you’re being brought into a different world in a different time. It starts off with keys tiptoeing through the scenery before strings soon tag along. About halfway through, bolder piano comes in with loose percussion as well. It’s a fantastic introduction.

Track three, “Dreamblood Racer,” is a great example of a track with more dramatic tension; it shifts to a darker mood featuring pounding drums and electronic layers. Honestly, this song could easily fit in one of the Halo video games. Its sense of peril pushes it forward. After the minimalistic “A Timeline,” “Voice In The Flume” echoes a similar style to “Dreamblood Racer,” albeit with more focus on building toward its grand finale of blaring synths.

I really like the sixth song, titled “Periphery.” It’s the shortest track on the record, and it provides a precious moment of solace through use of some mallets or synthetic keys. “Periphery” also directly precedes my favorite song, “The Curving.” If you simply want to sample Adrift In The Whereabouts, I recommend at least listening to “The Curving.” It has a hypnotizing rhythm of foreboding keys backed by wailing strings, and it develops a mixed feeling of isolation and exhaustion – but also determination and vision. There’s a more hopeful period in the middle with higher, more rapid keys and light percussion before the outro of solemn strings.

The last two songs are numbers nine and 10, “Propel To Sleep” and “When You Leave.” Both of these are strong cuts. The former has perhaps the fullest overall sound on the record; its unique rhythm builds to a climax with beautiful backing vocals, hard drums, soft strings and weighty synths. Then, it utilizes pitter-patter synth work to hasten to a quieter ending. “When You Leave” is the most melancholy out of all the songs on Adrift In The Whereabouts. It starts slow, and a sense of departure and loss soon permeates the melody. Yet, hope is present, signified by some faster keys and strings in the middle. At the song’s conclusion, graceful piano bids us goodbye. “When You Leave” brings memorable closure to the album, and it truly feels like the end of a journey.

I’m very pleased with Adrift In The Whereabouts. It’s a great album to throw on when you’re in the mood to just let your mind wander. If you enjoy instrumental music – especially stuff in the vein of film or video game scores – I encourage you to take a listen.

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