“Sheltered in Sound makes music to lean into”
That phrase comes directly from the artist bio for Sheltered In Sound and I am trying not to simply ignore it as a general “advertisement” for a style of music that many consider “comfortable”. For some, “comfortable” can be confused for complacent background music or something that doesn’t have substance – nothing to dig your teeth into (so to speak).
And once again, I can assure you in saying that I am providing a project in which being comfortable is one of the furthest thing from the what “Field Recordings From the City” is. It is in fact a great debut album from Sheltered in Sound, and not unlike it’s name is music meant for sheltering one lone man in a big, big world. When “leaning into” this album you find themes of social conscience alongside an overall feeling of missing the connection of people, places and most of all relationships.
This album has been brought about due in large part to the death of a Father. While the album may not necessarily be focusing on death per say, but maybe just a feeling of loneliness, which can be a catalyst for many songwriters. This one songwriter, Sean Nilsson, brings us sparse folk tunes with heavy influences of acoustic guitar, harmonica, cello and even a bit of well placed drum machine. Although, while I say sparse, don’t think of empty songs but of an album full of stories of finding oneself. The songs may be journeys set to the backdrop of one man in the centre of his large home (in this case the city of Toronto – believe me, you can feel a little disconnected in such a large centre and this is part of Nilsson’s songs). This is very evident in probably my favourite song on the album “Falling Stars” with an Americana ballad vibe and lyrics like “The sun is rising on someone else’s day – Where the life we live becomes the price we pay“. We are looking at an album of a real guy, who records real world issues to his contemporary mellow pop-folk music.
If you feel the same after a few listens below, you can purchase a copy of the album through iTunes and CD Baby or by simply visiting his website. A nice touch is an access code for a free digital EP of outtakes when you purchase the album.
Think of it like taking a lonely trip through a busy world, it just may be the the most relaxing moments of your busy Tuesday.