Every once in a while an album crosses my path that truly takes my breath away and “Abendromen” is one such album. Composed, produced and engineered by Tom Eaton, who is co-producer and engineer for Imaginary Road studios (owned by Windham Hill founder, Will Ackerman), Tom has crafted a gorgeous album recorded during late winter nights that exemplifies just what a phenomenal musical composer he truly is.

“Abendromen” (a combination of the Dutch words for “evening” and “dreams”) is comprised of ten tracks, including three bonus tracks, each named for a day of the week. Essentially, it is an ambient though gently melodic album that conveys a nocturnal and solitary yet comfortingly warm atmosphere, combining a perfect balance of both electronic and acoustic instruments that beautifully complement one another. Composed of synthesizers, piano, electric guitar and bass, as well as gentle percussion guiding a couple of tracks (on “Tuesday: The Compass” and “Thursday: For Orion”), Tom has made the best use of many subtleties that all interact with each other to create a whole that is immersive and enveloping yet beautifully understated. With lots of layered, lingering chords, spaces between piano notes, and sensual yet subdued electric guitar, the music is all about depth rather than breadth. The particularly haunting and forlorn “Saturday: Long Lonely Light” is a shining example of this kind of perfection. The fact that nothing overtly conspicuous is present here is perhaps ironically what makes it all the more potent. The music feels incredibly human with a strong undercurrent of reflection, nostalgia and mystery, and I felt an emotional connection to it right away. Listening to this recording was like watching a visual projection or film screen of one’s life events, evoking memories and experiences that have since come and gone. The album appropriately closes with a bonus track called “Saturday Night” which is a more ambient and piano-less version of “Saturday: Long Lonely Light” that shimmers and hovers for a bit before drifting away longingly.

“Abendromen” is without a doubt one of the most gorgeous albums I’ve heard in a long time. Musically, it conveys thoughts and feelings that could never be accurately expressed with words while retaining a haunting quality of obscurity. Tom has crafted a masterpiece of the highest caliber that has already become a personal favorite and will certainly be hard to top among this year’s best recordings. ~Candice Michelle

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