The Pagan Place Podcast

‘Michael Ramey - Stolen Bewildered Agitation’ Album Review

February 10, 2020

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Michael Ramey - Stolen Bewildered Agitation

Released, December 20, 2019 

  1. My Favourite Things            01:45
  2. Heather and Violet              03:43
  3. An Absence Of Lilacs           04:53
  4. Lavender                           05:03
  5. Opium 03:39
  6. Secrets Among The Willows 05:00
  7. Sous-Bois                          06:50
  8. Cyclamen                           03:51
  9. Pensées                             05:18
  10. Kudzu                               03:43
  11. The Toxic Psychosis Blues   04:36
  12. "Don't Fight, Pick Lupins!"   03:08
  13. Stolen Bewildered Agitation 04:29
  14. Aubade                             05:05
  15. Love Blooms                      06:03 

Starting with a sense of immediacy, the first note hits as soon as the play button is pushed. If you aren’t careful you'll miss it. Typically I'd like a moment at the beginning of a record, a chance to adjust my headphones and get my head into that space. Michael Ramey had different plans, dropping me head first into this world of experimental music that ends up being a transcendent experience brought on by his obvious love of making music. 

Although Ramey's introduction is abrupt, there is certainly lots of ethereal space in the songs that follow. In the 2nd track, Heather and Violet, things take a turn into something reminiscent of a sci-fi horror flick, an ambient dreamscape that lets the imagination drift in and out of consciousness. Ramey is playing with sounds here like he does throughout the album, obviously having fun with the creative process. 

This record was inspired by an internet challenge, #create25in25, which is similar to many others I’ve seen pop up over the years. They vary slightly, but all share the purpose of

offering artists and creative people a way to break out of the doldrums and get some work made without preconceptions or expectations. This process allows artists to leave the overthinking at the door and just make for the sake of making, often getting them to remember what brought them to be an artist to begin with. Stolen Bewildered Agitation includes Ramey’s top 15 recordings created during this challenge and it’s incredible how well it all works together to create a cohesive record. This just goes to show how important it is to break out of our normal routines to inspire the creative process.  

Kudzu, feels like being in a cozy plant filled dining room with the golden early morning light streaming through big open windows. This song exemplifies Ramey’s use of organic sounds that continues throughout the album and really lightens the mood and opens up these soundscapes. I love hearing the birds, the echo of the room, a distant car horn, and more that I can’t quite pinpoint.  

There is quiet comfort in this project that makes it a great companion on a snowy morning (memories of warmer, sunnier days). United by Ramey's unique style and calm musical sensibility, this record that started out as a collection of individual songs for another project comes together nicely to create a pleasant listening experience. It inspires us to take a break from the daily hustle, slow down, and enjoy the simple beauty that’s all around us.

  

Mood: Light and Mellow/ Comfortable

Flavour: Earl Grey Tea

Colour: Sunrise’s golden glow

 

Oliver Flecknell

February, 2020

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