For those unfamiliar with The Atlantic Manor, here’s a brief crash-course. The band consists of one Rick Sell, who records and releases his own music without a label or any promotion outside of whatever Sell himself does. He’s done it this way for years, and it seems to be working alright. His music, under The Atlantic Manor, is a dreamy country-tinged folk that sometimes nears the rock level, but typically maintains tranquility.
The latest by The Atlantic Manor is The World Beneath This World Is Brightening. Outside the odd kid-vocal opener “Openings”, the album begins with the epic near-15 minute “Vessels”, which emphasizes Sell’s predilection toward dreamy folk songs. The entire song maintains a calmness that is both invigorating and interesting, as Sell chimes in with vocals masked by subtle volume levels and a penchant for being modest yet vividly insightful. In fact, despite reviewing at least four of The Atlantic Manor’s albums, we have yet to come across an image of Sell himself.
The World Beneath This World Is Brightening continues The Atlantic Manor down the path of creative obscurity. “Failing By The Second” goes through nearly two minutes of folk-y acoustic strums and laid-back percussion mixed with a powerful electric guitar drone before Sell comes in with his country-tinged vocals. This blend is his signature, and it makes for a very original sound; a sound that he has mastered over and over again through countless albums. And I’m sure I say this each time I acquire a new album by The Atlantic Manor, but I’ll say it again — this is my favorite one yet.
3. Failing By The Second
4. The Captain’s Name Was Death
6. Apple Dreams
7. The World Beneath This World Is Brightening
8. The Good Son
9. Black River Runs