Producer of otherworldly instrumentals Nosaj Thing has ended a five-year hiatus with the release of “Blue Hour” (feat. Julianna Barwick) and the announcement that his next album is officially complete. Known for crafting emotionally consuming soundscapes and then filling them with the ethereal voices of his collaborators, the new track is a reminder of the kind of beauty he can conjure up with a few carefully placed sounds.
On “Blue Hour,” he joins forces once more with ambient beat-maker and soul-soothing crooner Barwick (he was featured on her exceptional fourth album Healing Is A Miracle) to accompany the track’s sparse but luminous synths and beats. It’s a song that dips in and out of bliss and melancholy, one that breaks your heart with its beauty yet also immediately rejuvenates it. With Barwick’s euphonious vocals swelling lucidly alongside the rapid kinetics and cathedral-sized distortions Nosaj Thing invokes in the background.
You could easily loop “Blue Hour” (and I have) over and over until the transition is seamless, and still never tire of the radiant, blue-toned world it seems to elicit into existence. And the announcement that his follow-up to his 2017 album Parallels is complete means Nosaj Thing has plenty of musical soundscapes up his sleeve to share.
The new album will serve as a musical recollection of the Los Angeles artist’s rise, from his noise-punk DIY high school days at The Smell, his debut set at Low End Theory, his growth opening for artists like The xx, and collaborating with Tokyo-based audio-visuals avant Daito Manabe.
Words by Steven Ward
Watch the visualizer for Nosaj Thing’s new single “Blue Hour” (feat. Julianna Barwick) below!