The One AM Radio – Heaven Is Attached by a Slender Thread
Record Label: Dangerbird
Release Date: April 19, 2011
The One AM Radio is the electronic-tinged project of Los Angeles-based songwriter Hrishikesh Hirway. Heaven Is Attached by a Slender Thread is his fourth full-length release and first since This Too Will Pass (2007).
How Is It?
It’s strikingly different from Hirway’s earlier efforts, which applied their electronic textures subtly, allowing the songs to be “dominated” by the acoustic strums, string accents and melancholy lyrics delivered in a dazed Mark Kozelek-like whisper. Heaven breaks away from the usual austerity into the sunnier realm of electro-pop, and at times, it’s even almost danceable. If the as-fatalist-as-it-sounds This Too Will Pass was the soundtrack to your existential crisis, Heaven is the aural equivalent of emerging from the dark and into the light of day.
Despite the new approach, the album still carries over a few characteristics that are distinctly The One AM Radio. Hirway’s vocals are still soft, intimate and often hypnotic. Though the sonic backdrops are generally more lighthearted, the songs are still Hirway’s and characteristically tend toward the contemplative. On “An Old Photo of Your New Lover”, he sings, “There’s a world without you,” depicting the jolt to our egocentrism that can come from seeing images of a current flame with an ex as well as seeing an ex with someone new. “I’ll be a fading ghost, a distant memory,” he muses on the upbeat, synth-driven “Plans”. His own impermanence and insignificance have always been concerns for Hirway, and it appears that hasn’t exactly changed. However, the brighter tone of the music suggests a coming to terms, that these thoughts aren’t so much troubles but simple matters of fact.
While Heaven also contains some good old-fashioned yearning—“I’ve been waiting for so long I’ve forgot the reasons,” keyboardist Fontaine Cole sings on “A City Without Seasons”, providing a cutesy, childlike complement to Hirway—it easily exhibits the most contentedness of any One AM Radio release. “I’m so happy with the weight of my love pressed up against my chest,” he gushes on “Constance”. And he tells his special someone, “Everybody bores me, everyone but you,” on the aptly named “Everyone but You”. So while Hirway hasn’t exactly conquered all his demons, it seems he’s found enough comfort in life to at least keep them at bay.