The One AM Radio

This Too Will Pass

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This Too Will Pass, the third album from Hrishikesh Hirway's the One AM Radio, is yet another hushed collection of dark and dreamy lo-fi indie. However, this time around it's much more Elliott Smith than Postal Service in nature, the emphasis placed on rock's live instrumentation over the electronic undercurrents that had so often swirled about the background in the past. Though Hirway (acting as his own producer) has plenty of collaborating musicians on hand to reinforce his individual underpinning with subtle touches of string or brass-lined breaks, the songs are still kept quite sparse and clean. Resisting the urge to add too many muddling layers keeps the mood light and open, and allows the main focus to stay with Hirway's tender vocals. Fills of percussion here, lamenting woodwinds there, and the solemn echoing of a violin are very specific in their placement, but not so directed as to make the songs at all rigid. In fact, this 13-song set is so calm and unfettered, it practically floats along like feathers content to go wherever a gentle wind takes them. This all adds up to quite a lovely listen, since the songs are, after all, intrinsically charming. But the proceedings are at times so serene that This Too Will Pass functions more as the perfect accompaniment to a night driving alone in deep thought than anything that really requires an active listen. The album is just so uniform in its beauty that tracks simply blend into one another, leaving their only hope for becoming at all distinctive as Zach Braff's use of them in a movie as the perfect background piece to a reflective character montage. Extra points though for the incredible cover art.

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