Garrett Gleason and Niko Wood


Alright, it’s time to get buck wild. We’ve got two exclusives for you today, and this one wastes no time when it comes to getting fantastically weird. Enter Garrett Gleason and Niko Wood and their new album An Abundance of Compassion. It’s an abundance of a lot of things, and sure, compassion is probably one of them. But it’s also a smorgasbord of alluring soundscapes, wild guitar loops, and furiously inspired drumming.

For an instrumental record, it’s a visceral emotional journey. An Abundance of Compassion has a lot of weight to it, yet doesn’t take itself too seriously as it sways from jarring noise parts into tender, classically inspired string passages. Check out the brazen, bizarre, and badass “Queen Torches the Hive” below.

The record is as eclectic as it is dense, but the project also sticks to its guns in some crucial areas that help them establish a unique identity. There is a tonal consistency despite the territories explored, particularly when it comes to the guitar loops. These crunchy, whimsical lines set them apart and forge a signature sound right from the beginning. And then of course there’s Niko’s drums, which are as wizardly here as they ever were in Shake the Baby Till the Love Comes Out. There are synth breaks that create an almost vintage 1970’s sound that compliments the album’s intermittent lo-fi flair as well, and though Garret Gleason and Niko Wood have both been known to get experimental within their own projects, this collaboration’s trek through freewheeling looper prog remains concise and focused.

“Queen Torches the Hive” explores the heavier dynamic, but check out “The Has Been” for the deeper, more subtle one. Frozen passages of time expand, contract, and explode like post-rock nebulas of delayed guitar and piano charged with jazz fusion drums. It’s beautiful, mysterious, and a sad. But we mean that in a really good way.

An Abundance of Compassion represents a world of possibility when it comes to innovating the dynamics of electronic, loop-heavy music. The mood can switch seamlessly from warm, tape saturated grooves into bleak, digitally splintering heartbreak. As much as we want to make comparisons, instead we’ll suggest you check out the entire record front to back for yourselves.

Just be ready to be floored.

We definitely hope Garrett Gleason and Niko Wood cook up another one of these some day. The chemistry between them, or at least the congruence of their processes, yields an abundance of badassery for all to behold. It’s also just so good to hear Niko play the drums again. Anyway, like we mentioned earlier, we’re doing two premiers today, and you can check out the other one here. Other than that we’ve got stuff on the way from A.M. Overcast, Solve for Why, Childspeak, and more coming up. Oh, and you can keep us hydrated/dryhated here. We’ll see you next time!