The Hibernate label starts the new year in good shape with Tom Honey’s latest cure for sleep deprivation and tinnitus in the form of his new album Underneath the Stars.

The ten tracks on this release continue Tom’s  exploration of the gentler side of ambient soundscaping which started in 2009. Suffering with tinnitus himself he set out to write therapeutic pieces of music which subsume the din of our noisy world and the faint burblings of the troubled inner ear in a calm and blissful rapture. Amidst the reverbed, reversed and stretched guitar layers there are gentle electronic pulses, diffuse vocals, soft warbling strings and a host of cleverly muffled field recordings of kids playing, thunder, rain  and other sounds that interject here and there, or form a burbling undertone giving some bottom end weight to these otherwise airy pieces. The second track Another Day Out  really stood out for me with its opening gentle patter of rain and low thunder rumbles which slowly give way to gentle guitar phrasing and a wonderfully rich sounding piano and strings section joined by a choral overtone, playing out wistfully on distant kids voices.

Relaxed – check, soothed – check, drifting off to sleep with a smile on my face – oh yeah 🙂  I’d say that was mission accomplished for me.

Do check out this album whether you have tinnitus or not – you owe it to your ears !

Good Weather for an Airstrike – Underneath the Stars. Hibernate Records HB38. Released: 13th January 2012. Available digitally via Bandcamp  iTunes and Amazon. Also available in a limited run of 200 CD’s from Hibernate Records