When most people uninitiated to the world of chiptune hear of the concept, one of the things I’ve commonly heard were about its perception of being upbeat, faster-paced, or joyous in nature. I’m sure there are endless examples of popularized chipmusic that fit this description (such as Anamanaguchi’s album “Endless Fantasy”.) A great example that goes against this perception would be Windfallen’s latest release, “Confessions”. This EP sounds more like a journey through one’s regrets and the tensions built from around it. After the jump, you’ll see why this album should go into your collection for when you need that change of pace.
‘Confessions’ is a very easy listen; you can follow how each song progresses without focusing too hard. Within that is the reason this album grows on you. You may not notice certain elements the first time around, but the more times you listen to this record, the quicker you pick up on how the emotional vibe shifts from mellow to melancholic. The harmonic and percussive instrumentation have a delightful warmth to them that drives home a sense of familiarity. The reverb and delay give a very dreamy atmosphere to most of the album, but fortunately the atmosphere doesn’t lull you into anything that isn’t fitting for each song. For instance, the arpeggios in ‘Aerial Glide’ give an appropriate amount of energy to the track and album as a whole; showing it’s far less from a repetitive drone and more of a demonstration in toying with subtleties.
The album’s overall emotional dynamic is compelling in the same way that the state of ennui is compelling. No matter how calm or mellow things may seem, there is an aura of tension and sadness that loom over the album like a grey cloud. What struck me as interesting, though, is that most of the songs have no significant end in the sense of a song’s form structure. Each song either fades out or just ends abruptly, yet softly. It almost suggests that this is the kind of feeling that never truly leaves any of us, but lingers until something else grabs our attention. The closest song to breaking that is, coincidentally enough, the first track of the album, “IRL.” This album was well-thought-out and well-executed from an emotional standpoint.
Confessions is an EP that you’re going to love to play the first time through for its mellow atmosphere and chip sounds layered on top of synths and lo-fi percussion. On each repeat, however, you might discover that this is quietly one of the more well-designed emotive stories that you never knew you needed to listen to. You can pick this up from Windfallen’s Bandcamp.
Please enjoy this album, and with that, I’ll see you… in a bit.