ALBUM REVIEW: “We’ve Got A Map” by Tidelands

August 06. 2012 | By Mayumi Okamoto

Tidelands
We’ve Got A Map
[Self-Released]

At one point or another, we’ve all lost our way in life and made frantic attempts to hastily navigate our way home. Tidelands‘ second album We’ve Got A Map explores this concept of that search and navigation process and the confounding emotions that accompany this overwhelming experience. In many respects, We’ve Got A Map is a personal narrative for Tidelands’ journey, with each song on this eight track album guiding musicians Gabriel Leis and Mie Araki to exactly where they want to be.

All of the beloved components of Tidelands’ debut album If… return on We’ve Got A Map, including another collaboration with Minna Choi and the Magik*Magik Orchestra (“Twin Lakes”). Each song is composed of layer upon layer of flugelhorn, moog synth, guitar, and drums. “Japan” is the perfect example of how multi-instrumentalists Leis and Araki can build a complex soundscape by combining a myriad of instrumentation details along with tempo changes for added dimension. Because we know that Leis and Araki are the only members of the band, listening to We’ve Got A Map becomes a mental challenge in imagining how Tidelands would manage to play each song at a live performance. “Rock Bottom,” “Toaster,” and “Half A Century” find a vocally softer Leis giving a much lighter and airier feel to the album in comparison to palpable heaviness of If…

Leis and Araki follow their instincts on We’ve Got A Map and the result is a lovely album that truly represents who Tidelands currently is as a band. Even in times when we’ve lost our way, the best map to get us back on course is the instinctual one within. Because sometimes, without even realizing, we are exactly where we are supposed to be.

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