Late last month, I wrote about Los Angeles-based composer and electronic music producer Will Thomas. Thomas is best known as the creature mastermind behind the collaborative recording project Dive Index and the minimalist, solo recording project Plumbline, with which he has released several albums, including two collaborative albums with ambient music composer Roger Eno. The Los Angeles-based composer has also written scores for film, modern dance pieces and has developed sound installations.
Now, as you may recall, Thomas’ fifth Dive Index album Waiting at Airplanes is slated for a May 29, 2020 release through Neutral Music. Deriving its title from the overly optimistic and childlike act of seeking the fleeting attention of passing strangers for the sake of sheer connection, the album will reportedly continue Thomas’ long-held thematic interest in exploring both the human condition and the condition of humanity. But while also touching upon missed connections, artificial intelligence, contentment, the beauty of the desert and our dire and uncertain political and social climate. The album finds Thomas continuing his ongoing collaboration with with Daughter Darling‘s Natalie Walker and critically acclaimed English multi-instrumentalist Merz.
Thomas reportedly set specific parameters to the material’s overall sound and construction, sourcing almost every sound heard on the album, including percussion from modular synthesizer with the exception of some piano, acoustic guitar and the occasional extraneous sounds — a nail gun and jackhammer, in particular — that managed to leak into the studios and recordings, and were embraced on as part of the album’s material.
The visceral and intimate album single “Window to Window” was centered around Natalie Walker’s gorgeous and achingly expressive vocals, twinkling keys, shimmering synths and thumping low-end was full of regret over lost moments, blown opportunities, the passage of time and the inevitability of mortality while nodding at Portishead and Tales of Us-era Goldfrapp. The album’s latest single “Near Enough” continues Thomas’ long-held reputation for crafting minimalist soundscapes — this time centered around shimmering and gently undulating synths, stuttering beats, hospital like blips and bloops, and Merz’s plaintive vocals. Revealing a deliberate and almost painterly approach and quality reminiscent of Radiohead‘s Amnesiac, “Near Enough” is a mediative song that evokes the longing for connection and meaning that we all struggle with at some point or another.