Composed during the past Chicago winter with "not a lot going on", these two tracks from Philharmoniker are soothing, semi-ambient contemporary folk. Like the shift from winter's barren landscape to spring's reshelving, each track evolves in one long build-up, instruments and thoughts budding and blooming.
Dylan, sans surname, leads the enigmatic, sporadically released, and ungoogleable project (city orchestras flood all search results). Perhaps that's fitting. In a way, this project is a personal, pocket string orchestra reduced to fiddle, banjo, guitar, percussion. Is folk just a microcosm of the grand symphonic orchestras? And this project just purposely shrouded below the higher-art philharmonics?
"If you don't want more from me...I wonder what I oughta be", croons Dylan below golden banjo flecks, a fiddle descending thru notes, another fiddle sustaining pedal point. Similarly introspective, the opener revolves around trying to "stay intact...stay in touch" despite maybe past failings, though "not for lack of trying". Elsewhere, talk of woodland critters, icy rivers, gathering tinder. One imagines being holed up, snow stuck, ruminating on past misgivings and future uncertainty.
Unfortunately, perhaps due to Philharmoniker's mastering, these tracks are going to be dramatically quieter than adjacent tracks in a music library. In this blog's praise-only mindset, perhaps that only adds to this band's ethos: respectfully yielding to louder, look-at-me bands with the idea that maybe the right listener seeks this quieter, ornate refuge. Released 4/28/19. Listen below.