Sounds of Change
Even after three years since his last album, Eluvium’s False Readings On follows seamlessly as the next step in the progression that his previous albums have seemed to be following.
“Strangeworks” introduces False Readings On with a simple melody that works its way to break through the static while a haunting synthetic voice interjects. Then, “Fugue State,” which is an especially long song, features seven and half minutes of layers of static wind instruments, over which the ethereal vocals are able to really come through. The shortest song on the album, “Drowning Tone” provides a quick palette cleanser before “Regenerative Being” begins, which is a longer, more complete extension of the first track. As the album progresses, there is a slight change in style starting with “Movie Night Revisited,” which features choral lyrics that pop in and out similar to the sound of waves breaking on the shore.
“Beyond the Moon for Someone in Reverse” keeps up the ocean vibes going but with featuring more of a synthetic sound. This is also the point at which Eluvium begins experimenting with white noise. While the hum of static has been constant throughout up until this point, it now becomes the focus and even oppressive over the melody. The title track is the second-shortest song but acts as a second turning point. The peaceful synths and lyrics from before shift in tone, and the ethereal begins to take on a sinister guise.
False Readings On builds off of contradictions, both overtly and subtly depending on the track. There are extremes in its song lengths, for example, some only being a minute, which are a far cry from the seventeen-minute finale. White noise filtering in an out of each track to different extents is another way the album plays with extremes. It’s these oppositions that keep each song distinctive, even when the melodies sound like they are all melding together. Overall, False Readings On succeeds as an album of ambient music.