Craig Aalders

Lush dynamics shimmer and splash on composer Craig Aalders’s latest sonic voyage, Oceanography.

Water and music have more in common than you might think. Both serve as therapeutic outlets to assuage the stress of daily life or as vessels into which to channel aggression into catharsis. Diving headfirst into this idea is Vancouver guitarist Craig Aalders. Taking inspiration from quiet beachside walks and immersive descents into the Pacific, Oceanography takes you under the sea in one of the most vivid soundscapes I’ve ever come across.

The opening title track beckons you to dip your feet in, with a sneak attack of synths to pull you under the waves. “Pacific Bloom”’s shimmering guitars and faint sounds of whale songs make for a very heady experience; there’s real healing power when Aalders finds a perfect balance of emotion and intricacy. The bright tones and pattering rain on “Island Shimmer” belies a darker progression just below the surface. As the concept culminates on “Drift Current” and “Sunlight Under Water”, it’s clear that Craig Aalders has invested much time, thought, and talent into creating Oceanography’s immersive world, injecting an ever-dizzying swirl of heady guitars and a fresh dose of meditative introspection into the blue. The Pacific is only a play away.

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