Floods, the first release by the St. John’s ambient indie group Town House, is a strong and concise musical effort with identity and flavour. One of the biggest strengths to be found from the first track to the last is that this is very clearly the work of a full band. Throughout the album, every instrument is adding to the overall sound and atmosphere in its own unique way. Tone is critical to ambient music, and Town House’s construction of this tone through every individual sound featured is an achievement on its own.
It is hard to choose a standout track from a record like this. The album has such a unified sound throughout that it could almost be considered one very long song, and that would be perfectly fine. Town House has found a sound and an identity that they can create confidently and seemingly effortlessly. Each song rises and falls in grandeur of atmospheric sonic waves—the kind of music that pushes you to zone out completely and think about life and the meaning of the world just for the fun of it. The lyrics and vocal work by Mellyssa Vey are enchanting throughout, and sit comfortably with the rest of music serving less as the face of the band, and more as another integral part of the encompassing sound of the group.
Clocking in at around thirty minutes, Floods feels about as long as it actually is. It is on the short side, but the level of immersion reached even within the individual songs is an impressive feat that leaves the listener with a strong feeling of thoughtful reflection. The music, while evocative, is comprised of fairly simple grooves.
Now that Town House has established this sound and identity of ambience and atmospheric music, there are a lot of potential places to go next. Floods so effortlessly mesmerizes within its first moments, that the desire for something even bolder and more daring appears later on in the album. Town House have shown that they are competent and confident artists that have the potential to create something more complex, intricate, daring and rewarding in the future. They have embraced an identity and a sound that can go in any direction they choose, and Floods is an excellent place to start.