The main attraction to Hammock, the duo of Marc Byrd and Andrew Thompson, are the guitars. Drones and lead guitar parts are blended together to create fluid moments of musicality that allow ambiance and atmosphere to open up and overtake the listener.
Their critically acclaimed studio albums and entrancing live performances have found acceptance among tastemakers and listeners across genres ranging from Dream-Pop to Ambient, Electronic and Shoegazer. Regardless of the terms applied to Hammock, one thing is certain: the duo are fluent in and admirers of many different musical styles - and demonstrate a profound talent for merging and filtering these elements through the use of gentle guitar melodies, delay, sparse vocals and patient song-craft.
Transcending a mere listening experience by its sheer beauty, Hammock's music seems able to convey one's innermost longings into sound - which can make for an indescribable affirmation of the spirit.
According to Mark Byrd, "Our philosophy has always been 'capture the sounds inside you and see where they want to take you'." And if an artist is realizing honest recordings, those sounds will lead to every place and through every emotion and experience. Hammock's music, like the world outside, overflows with beauty and tension, melancholy and hope. All equally abiding.
Hammock clearly have their heads in the clouds. The music floats on an echo-y haze, but this is not mere drone music; dreamy synths and cello twist and curve to alluring effect. This duo has a deep understanding of sound, as well as the relationships between sounds.
Ultimately Byrd adds, "It's just music. We were always hopeful that because we didn't have any presuppositions about exactly what the music should be, that people would listen in the same manner."
Hammock (Mark Byrd and Andrew Thompson on electric guitars and Matt Slocum on cello) will be making their Philadelphia concert debut at The Gatherings Concert Series on Saturday 17 October 2009.