Lower Tones is the first full length album from New Hampshire-based composer Brad Couture (his sixth release if you count his earlier works under the name Sleevenotes).
Couture’s serene cinematic tunes are perfect for relaxing to. I’ve played it often in the evenings lately, and find Lower Tones helps me to unwind brilliantly at the end of a busy day. It’s the soundtrack to sitting curled up in a warm blanket with a steaming mug clasped between your hands.
Well, it could be the soundtrack to whatever you choose really. Herein lies the appeal of instrumental music – the interpretation sits with the listener. Couture has licensed music to clients including The History Channel, ESPN, and Monster Energy, so his abilities clearly transcend mere playing around for a hobby.
Like all the solo instrumentalists who submit their work to me, Couture possesses an unfair amount of talent. Mastering one instrument is hard enough. Being able to play a variety of instruments, arrange them in a compelling way, and record them in a home studio is just showing off.
The music is predominantly soft and subtle, as one would expect from an ambient cinematic project. Couture relies heavily on piano and synths to weave an aural tapestry, before employing other instruments to enhance the music.
Cello offers a rich bass sound that synth or bass guitar cannot replicate the same way. Acoustic and electric guitars also help to colour the music, with the distant scorching guitar solo featuring in “Driving Through The Golden Hour” taking the cake for one of the finer moments of the album.
“Restland” is my album highlight, purely due to how evocative I find it. A deep warm hum sounds replicates a conch shell. Violin sets a solemn scene, with light pads and percussion adding gravitas before making space for sparse piano notes. I can picture viking warships setting out on a voyage to distant lands far across the ocean.
If well crafted ambient music for relaxation sounds like you then look no further than Brad Couture. He has done a stellar job with this release and you owe it to yourself to unwind to his music.
Brad Couture links: