Flatsound – you can’t impress anyone with normal pictures of the sea
By Alexandra Henriques | Top Tracks: forgive me, a glimpse of heaven, or wherever you are, the romance of the lighthouse
On September 29th, Flatsound, the main project of musician Mitch Welling, released his newest album, you can’t impress anyone with normal pictures of the sea. Welling is known for his lyricism, describing himself as a poet before a sound artist. However, his newest album is entirely ambient music – a collection of instruments, sounds, and audio distortions mixed to create an album heavy with a sense of nostalgia. Welling described it as “an album about remembering, searching, and rebirth,” which is evident through the individual song titles.
The album begins with “a new dream,” which features warmer tones to reflect new opportunities that come with growth. In 2008, at the beginning of Welling’s career, he suffered from severe agoraphobia, leaving him unable to leave his house for over a decade. Now, he has begun a path to recovery, including a small house show, getting married, and moving.
The album follows a highs and lows pattern, with some songs such as “this feels like the beginning” carrying a hopeful, almost innocent, and childlike blend of sounds. However, the hardships in Welling’s life are depicted in songs such as “forgive me,” one of the most quiet and melancholy songs featured on the album. It includes distorted audio clips of a young girl with an abundance of static and is one of my personal favorites. Then, the mood is lifted again through “something green,” a dreamy song to put on and escape the busyness of one’s surroundings.
You can’t impress anyone with normal pictures of the sea ends with “as you come up for air,” a final statement on Welling’s improving mental health. It feels like being free from once heavy stressors and is a perfect reflection of rebirth. Overall, this album is one of Welling’s most evocative. The sense of nostalgia, melancholy, and hope it carries in its sound is beautiful, if not downright inspiring. I wholeheartedly recommend giving it a listen, as it brought me near tears.
You can support Flatsound by listening to his music on Spotify, Apple Music, and Bandcamp.