Review: Nathanael Larochette – Earth And Sky (Canada, 2016)

You can smell the aroma of certain records. Other times you can see a defined place through them. Occasionally they remind you of moments passed by or of a lover left behind. In this very case instead, Earth and Sky emanates freedom. Freedom and peacefulness from top to bottom.

Talented guitarist Nathanael Larochette -already member of neoclassical folk trio Musk Ox and instrumental metal band The Night Watch– delivered this double album divided in two parts: what it’s supposedly the “Earth”, assembled by six completely instrumental, neofolk songs played by Larochette’s sweet classic guitars and Sky, a long 40-minute epic of guitar-driven ambient music. Despite what one might think, the latter is also the best part of this two-sided journey. It could be the perfect soundtrack for a movie about the never-ending struggle of life. I think of “Boyhood” (the movie) with this music and I bet it’d have been nothing but magic. Yet, if you’re patient enough to close your eyes and let those echoing guitars slowly caress you, I swear, that will be wonderful. Sky is that kind of composition one’s supposed to feel inside himself. You must be serene and obliging with it. But if you do, you’ll be gifted with bright tranquility. And that’s something too hard to be described with noisy words.


Now let’s scroll back to the neofolk parts, which are a tad less good then the ambient ones. The six songs are all well called into being. They speak with a definitely close classical music accent and this hinders them as well. Besides the genuine quality of those compositions, the addition of any other layer along with guitars would have been a valuable call. Not only it would have increased both the momentum and dynamism but it also would have underlined an even more marked yet enjoyable contrast with the long cinematic track that comes afterwards.

I don’t mean to be a pain in the a*s, though. You still may please your ears with lovely ballads as Awaken with its distant ol’-English folk scents or the pondering Oceanic.

Nathanael Larochette has already impressed me with his previous projects, even though this latest one possibly caught my breath. If you like albums which ease you from pain, stress and everyday-life sh*t, Earth and Sky is for you.

And yes, this guy is very good…he is indeed.

Label: Self-Released
Websites: Facebook | Bandcamp |Website
Release Date: 29th July 2016
Reviewed by Matteo “Teo” Gruppi

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About Matteo "Teo" Gruppi 120 Articles
TSL co-founder, co-owner, editor, CEO, reviewer, interviewer and writer. Basically I do a lot of stuff and I can’t get anything done well. I was born in 1991 and started loving music since 1981. Got my very first band in high school and now I play as a lonely dumbass in 3 projects: Chiral, Il Vuoto and |||. I listen to every kind of music as long as it is good and intense. Favourite genres include: everything as long as it’s good! (but also folk, black metal, 70-80’s rock and post-rock).

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