Finding a way to satisfyingly close an album as powerful as Patrick Shiroishi’s new opus, Hidemi, isn’t easy. Across the album’s deep, moving half-hour, Shiroishi creates a lyrical statement about working hard to overcome darkness and finding a silver thread to follow toward greener horizons. “The Long Bright Dark” exudes this hopeful catharsis in spades. Using a hypnotic triplet progression that pushes forward at every turn, Shiroishi’s soprano wail coalesces the past into a purifying beam of harmonic brilliance.
When Shiroishi knew he still needed proper closure for the record, he returned to this progression he’d been playing live for years, but could never quite put together as its own piece. “I’m glad I did that as the piece really fell into place right then and there,” he explains. “From the melody with the soprano sax to adding in vocals to the rephrasing of the first multiphonic hits that introduce the record, it feels like musically it comes full circle.”
“The Long Bright Dark” is an exclamation mark on one of the year’s best albums. When Shiroishi’s layered vocals blast across the swirling saxophone howl, it harkens a new dawn. Sun beaming across the neon landscape, it’s a signal that we’ve come a long way, but there’s still work to do.
Hidemi is out on October 29 via American Dreams.
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