Landscape Dream is Abram Shook's followup to 2014's Sun Marquee, an album VICE called "…pleasant as fuck" and Texas Monthly called "…compelling, weird, and lovely." Applying what he learned through writing and recording Sun Marquee, Landscape Dream demonstrates how much Shook's songwriting and production acumen has sharpened over the past year. Creating Sun Marquee was a learning process, where songs were often forced out of experiments in recording techniques. As Abram explains, "I had a lot of thoughts I just threw out there, but often I arrived at dead-ends and had to figure out how to make something out of what was available." However, on Landscape Dream he "went back to writing with just voice and guitar and then used arranging, production, and recording ideas pulled from Sun Marquee." The effectiveness of his new approach is clear from the 70's rock of "Find It" and "Chelsea" to the African vibes of "Get Gone", the dreamy Brazilian vibes on "5AM" and "Beach Glass", and the slow-jam soul found on "Perfect", "Jaw", and "Vessel".
To capture the songs, Abram joined forces with some of Austin's elite engineers including Erik Wofford, Danny Reisch, Justin Douglas, Grant Johnson, and Christopher Cox. Over the course of several months the team explored where each of these 12 songs would go. One example of how far they took the songs from their original form is the energetic "Find It", which started as a fast tropicalia tune Abram wrote on a classical guitar, but through production choices evolved into an ode to garage-rock, psychedelia, and Zepplin all in one.
Like many of us, Abram dreads the exhausting sea of digital noise, which can be detrimental to our ability to foster meaningful human connections. To escape the deluge of social media, texts, emails, etc, he takes a daily walk in a vast, underutilized South Austin park with his dog. Carving out a little time to step away from the laptop and cell phone has become a crucial ritual for Abram, allowing him to reflect, and get some perspective on the world and how he fits into it. Landscape Dream features several songs that reference that precious time he spends communing with nature.
In addition to working on his own music, Abram became a touring member of the Austin-based band Shearwater in 2014. As tiring as touring can be, escaping the noise of his everyday life provided him with intense periods of self-reflection. Much like his daily walks, he found the solitude of touring to be a nourishing and enlightening reminder of what really matters, and that awareness and clarity helped him pen many of the brilliant songs you'll hear on Landscape Dream.
...dreamy...refreshing...it slides along with a swelling effervescence...
Honestly, this album is pleasant as fuck...
...compelling, weird, and lovely—three tastes that go well together.
...blends mellow '70s psychedelia, dream pop, island atmospheres, and funky rhythms for a relaxed and textured lo-fi ride.
…an artfully crafted collection of tunes...Shook expertly weaves a paradoxically intricate simplicity that's irresistibly unique.
...a tour de force, bringing tons of ideas into a clear, coherent picture.
...Sun Marquee carries his vision further than we expected, leaving listeners with a warm experience that you’ll find ultimately rewarding.
Shook cooks caressing messages in bright, bubbling wonder through smart, tropical-flavored pop stirred with breezy ingenuity and drizzled in jazz-twisted pivoting. Basking in heavenly blends of stop-watch bop and elastic deep-shag ballads, Marquee,” brilliantly teases, pleases then releases...