There is soft and cottony music that can border on mannerism. There are compositions which can quickly become suffocating by brandishing fragility as a standard. L’Altra’s music happily overcome these shortcomings. Folk, post-rock, chamber music, jazz… so many qualifiers can describe the music of the American band. So many qualifiers for so many shortcuts.
Released in the spring of 2002 on the late Chicago label Aesthetics Records, “In the Afternoon,” the second album by L’Altra, exudes nostalgia and sensuality, evokes travel and the great outdoors. The pastoral beauty of this record speaks to our senses. Here, peaceful melodies, instrumental textures and atmospheres bursting with insidious and luminous melancholy unfold, as if we were celebrating a bygone carelessness.
Almost two decades later, the intertwined songs by Lindsay Anderson and Joseph Costa resonate as they did when first cut. And that’s one of the highlights of this album: standing the test of time.