Dan Misha Goldman is no stranger to sleepytime music. As one-half of Snowblink, he’s made endearing, delicate music that both soothes and stimulates the soul. On Champion of the Afterworld, Goldman continues to explore similar sonic territory with an emphasis on making “…a word/wordless based record that [offers] listeners the freedom to listen actively or passively with equal parts joy”.
Working with The Pendercki String Quartet and his Snowblink partner Daniela Gesundheit, Goldman set about finding the musical zenith between these two extremes. Whereas often times instrumental interludes act as a break between songs, the wordless musical textures and whispery lyrical numbers on Champion of the Afterworld float side by side, both essential for the success of the record as a whole. Though Goldman dedicated time to figure out what the album’s lyrical content would be, his musical arrangements offer as strong a narrative throughline as his words.
One would think that with Gesundhiet’s prominent presence, Champion of the Afterworld would feel more like a Snowblink record than a Goldman solo project, but that’s never the case. Songs as enchanting as “Sleepwalker”, “Corners”, and the wordless wonder of “Winterbloom” conquer the dreamy divide Goldman set out to explore with aplomb. Champion of the Afterworld is very much Dan Misha Goldman’s dream, fully realized and vividly captured.