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Album reviews
Air Shaper
Dead Slow
Release year:
21 October 2015 / by Michael Lyons (author)

You didn’t get to the beach enough this summer. You didn’t go for beers with your friends like you said you would. You wanted to get more reading done, go to the park, enjoy the sunshine. You wanted all of these things, but you didn’t do them. As the final notes of the season fade away into a cool, indifferent fall, Air Shaper’s Dead Slow captures the small sadness as the summer season slides away from us.

Montreal-based Air Shaper (formerly known as Exist Strategy) often creates what could be considered lovely little musical moments, more than full albums. That’s certainly the case for three-track Dead Slow, clocking in at just a little over six minutes. On the release of the album, the artist explained, on Facebook: “For the past 7 months I had reached a still point where nothing seemed to be happening. It was as if I was in a boat that came to a dead slow. I was tired, unproductive, peaceful, and mostly melancholic. These 3 tracks are a brief reflection of my experience.”

Each piece captures an essence of the artist’s melancholy, filtered through our summer, already long past. The titular “Dead Slow” is a deliberate guitar melody that shifts into something almost amounting to a Wild Western epic theme. “Memory Hole” is my favourite of the trio. The track centres around a simple, quiet, mournful piano solo with a sort of sighing, sacred background. “Quiet. at dawn” compliments “Memory Hole”; another slow, simple piano tune with Air Shaper’s signature ambient backdrop. As the final song in the small album it captures the feeling of that warm August night when you’re walking through the city streets. You feel that slight chill. You know a change is in the air.

I’ve been listening to Air Shaper’s Dead Slow on repeat since the artist released the mini-album at the end of August. Though it’s only a few minutes of music, it’s helping me hold onto a little bit of my own summer melancholy.

The author

Michael Lyons

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