This I is the fourth recording from itsnotyouitsme, the duo of the two prolific and highly regarded New York musicians guitarist Grey Mcmurray and violinist/composer Caleb Burhans. In the midst of successful solo careers, Burhans and Mcmurray began playing together in 2003 under this moniker, blending and distilling their mutual love of everything from Brian Eno to J.S. Bach and Pink Floyd. Since then, the pair has carved out a unique niche in the musical scene with their ambient, post-rock, jazz-tinged and genre-defying instrumental soundscapes.
Like the duo’s first three albums on New Amsterdam Records — walled gardens, fallen monuments, and everybody’s pain is magnificent — This I continues itsnotyouitsme’s exploration of ambient sound worlds, but for the first time, creative voices outside the Mcmurray/Burhans mind meld are welcomed into the fold. The duo welcomes two highly influential and widely admired artists, bassist Skúli Sverrisson and vocalist Theo Bleckmann, to expand itsnotyouitsme’s sonic horizons and breathe new life into their compositional process.
Culled from one continuous performance, This I shows itnsotyouitsme pushing its signature flowing textural landscapes, slowly shifting harmonies, and polished timbres into a new world, adding in layers of poised but powerful intensity that showcase the gifts of the album’s guests. The result is a multidimensional work that moves from light to dark and back again, using harmonic blending and vocal layering to explore and contemplate the ample space in between. Whether delicate or forceful, each moment meditates on the power of restraint to create an enveloping and otherworldly emotional experience. As Mcmurray himself explains, “We are a small band that makes wide music. We expel our selves slowly so that we can smile with our sadness strongly.”