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Nana’s Sunday Jams: Linear Minor - Balm

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Nana’s Sunday Jams: Linear Minor - Balm

[Banner artwork by the majestic Trav, all of Nana's jams are gathered in this playlist.] 

Yes Yes Yes Sunday Jammers. Greetings, salutations and an abundance of love to you to combat the freeze and inject some warmth back into whatever you are doing. 

So, part two in our latest mini tour is a heavenly slice of loveliness. Today’s tune is piece of music made perfect for you to fold into – that’s a phrase I’ve used before, I think it’s pretty self-explanatory but just in case: it’s music that appeals to every part of one’s being, it stirs all your senses and can move through you, activating your connective tissue, signposted by a spine tingle or that moment of gentle breathlessness when you connect with something moving and beautiful. Today I recommend somewhere you can be still and, if you have a view to something green, even better. This is an injection of warmth and energy, ideal if you're in need of a bit of nourishment.

I came to this via a friend request on Instagram, I had just started writing Sunday Jams and was full of nervous excitement about my first few submissions. I got this virtual hello and was happy, excited, curious whether it was an acknowledgement or just an algorithm, either way it didn’t matter, what I got was a new long-term music relationship – albeit a little one sided but completely fulfilling – which I have been revelling in ever since. So, thanks for the holler and big love for the tunes. The track is Linear Minor by Balm, from the 2020 EP Mauve, pure lushness. 

When I hear modern instrumental pieces, I cannot help but make comparisons with classical music; the sense of construction and composition is evident but it’s layered through modern electronic forms- in this case dance and ambient which highlight the endless potential for growth; these forms can accommodate and encompass any other genre. Music like this is focused on how instrumental sounds can build layers, travelling through physical and emotional spaces which is the same sense that I get from classical music, visceral, emotionally affecting pieces of music that wrap you up in their wake and carry you to visual landscapes drawn in your mind. That is exactly what is happening here in Linear Minor and whilst the title suggests something that moves in a straight line, it’s anything but. When I first listened to it; I was lying down with my eyes fixed to then then warmer, bluer skies. 

There is something solid yet ethereal about this track, I could listen to it at the start of a day when everything is sleepy, waking gently from night with a slight film over it but it works equally at night when things are closing down and waiting to tuck in. It is entirely mood inducing, the perfect soundtrack for quiet solo dreaming, for me it was captured the feeling of warm summer breezes, the smells of my summer; honeysuckle, jasmine and cut grass filling my senses and undercutting the sounds of people. I could happily drift with this on repeat as the world glides by; so, so, so beautiful. There is a sense of playfulness inside the construction which adds whimsy to the joyfulness and manages to never sound overworked or naïve which is not an easy balance to strike. The EP moves between light and dark with ease and points to a continuing development of their aesthetic and sensibilities. 

Check out more from this Dutch based duo via Bandcamp or on their Instagram page for landscapes too – another favourite is Mood with a view, picture yourself lying inside the tall grass, warmed by the sun and tickled by the breeze. Exactly what you need to remind us all ‘that after winter, must come spring’. Enjoy Sunday Jammers and Happy Happy Heart Day.