The trailing shrill of an “s” spins out of sight, echoing into the night. Starlings. Iings. Gs. S. S. S. S.
As the sun falls beneath the horizon, I press play on the latest offering from Youth – Conference of Starlings. A weight descends upon the air, and the first notes wash over me like a chill.
Part One sets the stage for the rest of the record with its ghostly drones and murmured poetry. I close my eyes, letting the sounds lift me from reality as the landscape shifts and transforms, leading me through Youth’s subconscious. The voice reaches me, pulling me up into the bird’s nest where the world takes on a new angle.
The album continues, pulling me further into a hazy realm of psychedelic meanderings, each track blending into the next as the music envelops me completely. A common base is understood here, but the swirling, hypnotic meanderings leave me guessing where I am, and where I’ve been. The incorporation of ASMR gives an otherworldly quality to the compositions, intensifying the feeling of secrecy and surprise.
But it’s not just the use of ASMR that makes Conference of Starlings so special. It is what is being said. Youth’s poetry adds a layer of emotion and complexity to the music, as the artist explores themes of love, loss, and the pursuit of purpose. The words dance around me, meshing with the drones and ambient noise to create a fully immersive experience.
One of the standout tracks on the album is The Reflecting Pool. As the poetry conjures up a notion of the perpetual cycle of life and death, the drones hum and swirl, evoking a sense of infinity and timelessness. It’s a track that lingers with me long after the album ends, the words and music staying with me like a faint memory.
Conference of Starlings is a truly perplexing and immersive album that guides the listener through the strange and beautiful world of Youth’s mind. From the ethereal meanderings and murmured poetry to the use of pulsing psychedelic drones, this is an album that defies easy classification and stands out in the saturated ambient music scene.
If you’re a fan of experimental music that pushes boundaries and challenges the listener, this is an album you won’t want to miss.