JASON CALHOUN “Practice” / GREYON GREENE “Belong to It” (Lily Tapes & Discs)

Fall 2019 has passed us long by, here in the depths of winter 2020, but that doesn’t mean we can’t return to that innocent season and reflect on time’s inescapable passage. And what better way to do so than with the Lily Tapes & Discs Fall 2019 batch? There is no better way. LT&D specializes in contemplative releases, and Jason Calhoun and Greyon Greene are nothing if not contemplative.

Calhoun’s Practice is an embroidered pattern stretching across the fabric time, until it frays and comes undone at its end. That’s exactly what’s on the cover of the j-card, and that’s exactly the mental image you need to immerse yourself in it. Actually, you don’t even need that – just free your mind up for some lovely hypnogogic, trance-inducing enlightenment, and let the hazy afternoon winter sunlight filter in through your curtains while you are gently rocked on the current of half-sleep. It is not a coincidence that Calhoun’s previous moniker was “naps” – far from it. His music is gentle and restrained, allowing for deep relaxation even as a tiny hint of melancholy seeps in. Perfect for staring out windows or drifting into obliviousness.

Greyon Greene takes his cues from the Cliff Martinez school of synthesizer soundtrackery, painting the urban nocturnal in broad strokes. The vibe is set from the opening strains of “Where Is Mulder Now?” which obviously, in its wondering, hints at mystery and, perhaps, even longing. These are not inapt descriptions of the whole of Belong to It, which could easily provide the score for a Nicholas Winding Refn film (and I’m in the middle of Too Old to Die Young as we speak, so it’s all totally fresh and appropriate right now). Greene splits the difference between synthwave and utter ambience, the neon wandering resolving into sunrise serenity as eyes finally close. LT&D couldn’t have explained the MO of the Brooklyn-based musician better than me anyway: “For leaving the house … and walking to the highest point in the neighborhood to watch while everyone else goes to sleep. Meanwhile, you’re already dreaming.”