Certain music compels us into the daze of divinity; the amalgamative intersection between space and time seems to dwindle in its wake, like the feeling that eases as our spirits when taking off in an airplane, just above the buzz of civilized mayhem. This airborne holiness infuses Up On High, the first track on Daniel Rossen’s solo EP, Silent Hour/Golden Mile, and weaves itself subtly through the rest of the collection.
Best known as a member of both Grizzly Bear and Department of Eagles, Rossen released the five tracks in Silent Hour/Golden Mile in 2012, a collection that effortlessly animates a celestial soul. The EP begins in media res, a writing technique that throws the audience into the thick of a plot that has already begun. Applied to a musical compilation, we are immediately ushered into the cohesiveness of a transcendental story. As a multi-instrumentalist, Rossen infuses his understanding of layered arrangements with sounds that mimic both nirvana and uncertainty, microscopic moments of rapture crawling within the space of anxiety. “Return To Form” cycles through the infinite shapes carved by jangling acoustics and minimalistic, image-emboldened lyricism, transposing itself onto the cinematic romanticism our imagination draws over our surroundings.
Unconsciously, Silent Hour/Golden Mile becomes a musical representation of that which the Tao teaches: In order to shrink it, One first must expand it. As is the case with the groups for which Rossen is most known, the five tracks on the EP seamlessly encircle a universal emotion of latent knowing, rising with a gentle tremor through a spiritual realm, sinking in the moments of our ego’s captivation. It serves as the cinematic soundtrack to the natural world, in which we find ourselves both opposed to and in synch with, depending solely on the curvature of our perceptions. It tip toes steadily between lush wilderness and concrete. It’s Rossen’s ability to simultaneously mimic both physical and cerebral reactions through expansion and compression that make this EP such a masterful work.
Embarking on his first solo tour, Rossen plays Mercy Lounge April 6, with local favorite William Tyler.