The Paper Sea — a project of Jared Matt Greenberg from the post-rock group Whale Fall — delivers uplifting ambient music that leaves a lasting impression, like the slow fade of sunlight across a glistening field as night falls across the horizon.
Below, get a first listen to the project’s new single “True Sight”! The single appears on the project’s debut album, Shadow Falls, which will be available May 21 via the artist.
The track hinges on relatively brisk piano melodies, but the mix gradually grows in smooth intensity, and other dynamic flourishes including a glockenspiel, African percussion instruments, analog synths, and wordless vocals also appear. The journey feels elevating — the melodic surges seem emotively expressive, with a weighty sense of persistent exploration, but the track is also thoroughly breezy, flowing persistently forward.
Ultimately, the song seems to reflect something like an experience of settling down after a jubilance-filled day. The brightening, enlivening fog is there — and truly, the track ends up rather immersive, with a resoundingly full mix — but there’s also a sense of some of the expansiveness at hand. The piano melodies extend repetitiously across the track as the other elements appear, as though looking out across a broad nighttime sky like the one depicted in the single cover art. This element of a subtle yet consistent push doesn’t detract from the poignancy in the slightest — the song remains personal and bright.
In terms of the sound construction, the piano tones feel warm, and, while brisk, the melodies consistently remain relatively light on their feet. Just after a minute and a half, synth tones that sound a bit like distant fireworks appear, while the foundational and poignant pianos continue flowing on repeat. The track feels dynamically enlivening — it’s a pleasant listen, and the building rhythms make the experience extra captivating.
Personally, Greenberg “was a founding member of 1990s San Francisco shoegaze band The Rosemarys and teamed with Charles Wyatt to form Charles Atlas in the early 2000s, as well as playing with John Vanderslice, Dart, Sutro, An American Starlet, Carta, and others,” as bio material for the artist explains.
“True Sight” began its life running on piano and melody alone, but once recording, he says: “I began to hear the percussion in my head, and that quickly blossomed into the entire percussion track… I seem to be irresistibly drawn to a ‘building-up’ approach to arranging.”
As for the overarching theme for the wordless track, Greenberg describes his inspiration as from the concept of “true sight” from the science-fiction show Stranger Things. Within the show’s world, “true sight” allows “the ability to see the world as it actually is,” Greenberg shares. He subsequently considered it “in the broader sense of heightened and hyper-accurate perception,” he says.
Check out Greenberg’s current band, Whale Fall, at this link.