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On ideas

A Mass of Nothing

Who the hell wouldn’t enjoy an album that starts with Dick Proenneke’s voice speaking about life in the wilderness? I was introduced to Bryan Yurgelis and The Winter Shakers today I can’t begin to tell you how much I love them… err him. There is something so special and refreshing about this album. There is something so amazing about an album that includes every guttural clearing and/or piece of ambient noise in each, and every, recording. It proves to be an incredible piece of sincerity with every re-listen.

I feel as if Bryan Yurgelis is writing the soundtrack to a wilderness life. A concept album about a man, his ability to leave a society, and his arduous task of completing a journey in the wilderness. It’s a true understanding of what it is to leave all that is comfortable and explore all that you do not know. You can tell these songs are coming from a soul that wants to be alone and enjoys it.

Elliott Smith is a definite influence but the composition and subject matter quickly make Smith’s impact ignorable. The songwriting brings the listener into a realm beyond anything Smith would have covered. There is something new and refreshing with every listen. 

On top of all this, none of the songs end with any sort of fade-out which purely adds to the depth of each and every track. You feel as if you are standing beside the guitar as it strums. Every mistake, whisper, and knee-hit on the acoustic guitar is heard. San Juan Mountains is a case of jaw-dropping melody and makes my heart sink every time I repeat the track… and drive my wife crazy with every re-listen.

Go and get this album!


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