This was not music easily arrived at. Long known as Lost Trail, the husband-and-wife duo that make up the drone project Nonconnah were unsure they'd ever record again; Zachary Corsa had lost himself too deeply in their original project, forsaking everything else around him, whether it be family, his relationship, or even health, in his drive for Lost Trail to live and thrive.

To create anything resembling their previous collaboration again, they'd need something that felt new. Nonconnah was borne of loss and necessary abandonment. While they've grown comfortable more recently, the material collected for The Gloom & The Glowing captures a murky, tentative stage. Having recently moved, and isolated in a deep bout of depression, Corsa himself professes to remember little to nothing of the actual sessions that comprise the music found here.

Certainly, there's a rawness to be found, and it's evident in the occasionally mournful ambient soundscapes of the album. ‘The Collapsing Bridge’ does indeed fall in on itself, seeming to grasp for something in the fog, giving way to the more serene, mysterious ‘Our Secrets Kept Forever’.

In Short, it may be an album profoundly informed by depression, but it isn't lost to it. The hopeful ‘Cassette Tones for Fall’ mostly clearly bleats the message that this is music perfect for the season, rustling with anticipation of things to come, seemingly frightened and expectant at once. It's an eternally restless record, ‘Place of Disappearance’, perhaps in particular, leaves the listener awash in a sea of sifting sound. This, in turn, blasts into the cosmos with ‘Interstellar Medium’, and the listener suddenly feels as if they're alone, soaring through space at unknowable speeds.

The best ambient projects can almost give you the feeling of stasis, your bed the chamber, your room suddenly transformed into a safe, placid zone, distanced from everything else. Alas, many projects seem to either following the Eno handbook too closely, or add enough bells and whistles that embedded, opinionated fans (admittedly, like myself) won't necessarily consider it, well, ambient (looking at you, Richard D. James). Purists, take heart. This is the sort of drone that allows you to simply put it on, lay back on that couch, and drift into the stasis pod. Its creators may have had a lot on their minds, but they leave room for us to take it how we will, to go with it where we may.

Disclaimer: Selected Ambient Works is a great album. It just isn't ambient. ;)