Landing seems to inhabit a musical space that resides in dreams. They create these musical patchworks that form a beautiful and surreal world where natural light and free thought connect and open doorways to ethereal universes. Of course, you have to be ready and primed to allow the music on Landing’s newest album Third Sight to do such magical things to your brain. If you’re not, well you may just hear nothing more than noise fading in and out. Electrical disturbances between your ears. Connecticut’s Landing don’t dabble in fluff. They’re cooking up the good stuff.
Since the mid-nineties Aaron Snow and Adrienne Snow have been making and performing music together. Their mix of ambient dream pop and pulsating, hazy space/psych rock has been the East coast’s best kept secret for 20 years. They’ve amassed a solid and loyal fan base, with one of those fans being Causa Sui guitarist and El Paraiso Records co-owner Jonas Munk. Third Sight, Landing’s newest musical adventure, is an improvisational three-song journey filled with hypnotic loops, wavering synth, and ethereal vocals in the tradition of Tangerine Dream, Kurt Stenzel’s Jodorowsky’s Dune S/T, and Rich Millman’s Night Flights. It’s a heady musical journey to say the least.
“Delusion Sound/Third Site” slowly makes its way into the light with what sounds like ancient loops hissing and ticking their way back to life before drums and guitar make their presence known. Once the vocals arrive the song morphs into a cross between Wooden Shjips and a peaceful, swirling vortex. Landing have a knack for allowing their songs to dissipate into the atmosphere as the song sees fit, which makes for a peaceful and quite beautiful fade out. “Delusion Sound” withers majestically into the sunset, “Third Site” bounces with jaunty synths, not unlike something Terry Riley might have offered up 40 years ago. The song feels like a through point to some other realm. If you’re not familiar with Rich Millman’s Night Flights you should make yourself familiar. “Third Site” taps into that ambient beauty Night Flights captures as well. “Facing South” reminds me of all those amazing song intros that Robert Smith would give his tunes in the mid to late eighties. Those pieces you wish were songs themselves. “Morning Sun” closes the album out. With its 14 minute time frame you could say the song is an epic closer, and you wouldn’t be wrong. There’s no hurry on this album, and “Morning Sun” feels like a stroll through a snow-covered forest. It’s deep thoughts overlooking a frozen lake; or waiting for the sun to disappear from the horizon. Time is of no concern here. Nearly eight minutes in and Adrienne Snow’s ethereal vocals come in, but only for a moment. She seems to be carried off on a cloud of synth and guitar haze.
Third Sight is a beautiful escape from reality. It envelopes you into a cloud of repeating motifs and escalating white noise. Landing make these kaleidoscopes of sound that feel impressionistic and avante garde at the same time. Saying it’s ambient music takes some of the heaviness and headiness this great band creates away, so I’ll call what they make dream psych. Third Sight feels and sounds like an epiphany. Simple, yet all encompassing.
8. 3 out of 10