BY MATTHEW CLARK
Brian Leeds’ latest album Make Me Know You Sweet, the first under his new Pendant moniker, is a stellar piece of ambient music that manages to at times exhibit the same type of qualities that made his dance music as Huerco S. so gripping.
Make Me Know You Sweet drips and oozes as the cracks and tones of the album glide almost formlessly, building an atmosphere that feels similar to a hot forest. The album drops you into this place, covered with growth and ever expanding, and over the course of an hour the different sounds oscillate around you, taking you on a journey. You hear animals, feel the wind passing through the trees, the sun shining down on the earth, and a sense of familiarity washes over you. There is no complacency in this familiarity, as sonic concepts that you may know inside and out appear fresh and vibrant as never before, but never as anything more than they actually are. New sounds appear here too, ones that feel right at home on the album and in Pendant’s arsenal.
Make Me Know You Sweet may be littered with the sounds that have come to make home on many an ambient artist’s release, but there is a determination and willingness to let the music speak for itself that allows it to transcend these trappings, as well as a mindset that is all Pendant’s own. Slightly obscured looping tones bring a sense of warmth and almost nostalgia to the proceedings, with Leeds intent on creating an album dripping with atmosphere, much like his previous album under the Huerco S. name, Those of You Who Haven’t (And Also Those Who Have), which began his public shift from dance music to ambient music.
From the more subdued tracks to the tracks that sound as near to shoegaze as they do to ambient music, the album revels in its textural details, but never in a self-indulgent or obtrusive way. It seeks only to be honest and earnest in its expression, and not deceitful, which allows the warmth and comforting qualities of the album to shine through brighter.
In a way, listening to Make Me Know You Sweet feels like spending time at home after a long trip away; whether you are weary or not the comfort and relief is still there, still asking you to unwind and open yourself up. The peaks and valleys of the album provide a perfect backdrop for introspection, allowing an environment for the listener to both escape and confront their worries and anxieties. With this album, Pendant has created a piece of restorative music that is ready to be there for all who want to receive it.