Featured on episode 35.
This artistic story has a promising, prehistoric beginning. According to Naked Gorilla’s profile, which we can’t encourage you enough to go devour in detail, it all began when he was a stromatolite in the area that was later to become Silicon Valley. It was back then, in that life, that “the urge to make music on an iOS device rose from the depths of [his] primordial being”. For obvious reasons, he was unable to fulfil this need for a rather long while there. Not to worry however. The story is, as we type, right in the middle of a very happy development. Because, yes, last time we checked, iOS devices had finally gotten invented. And now, obviously, Naked Gorilla is bent on making up for the lost millennia.
Listening to Place to Breathe, it was all worth the wait.
Naked Gorilla’s progressive rock track unfolds with a balance between both clarity and complexity that points to his maturity as a musician. Place to Breathe is made up of a great profusion of original ideas, but where one always runs the risk of being confusing when profuse (even in an original way), each novel idea introduced here is then developed with an unfailing sense of equilibrium as to the whole. Every added element, every layer gets its own breathing space, so to speak. As a result, and although it keeps renewing itself as it builds, the track does not ramble or become too charged for even one second. It just keeps evolving and that evolution takes place naturally.
An especially striking section occurs at 3:20 when lone vocals emerge. These are unintelligible. It is next to impossible to tell whether they’re meant to be human or animal, if these are wails of pain or anguish or something else altogether. It is a gripping sonic birth to listen to and the sort of universal cry that leaves nobody indifferent.
Getting to use the adjective ‘splendiferous’ to describe a song is a rare occurrence. We have a Naked Gorilla to thank for allowing us that pleasure. Place to Breathe is a splendiferous song.