The first half of 2020 has been challenging for everybody around the world, but thanks to the vision of many New Age, ambient, and Neo-classical artists out there, our lives felt more meaningful, and despite the confusion, we were able to find some peace and relaxation amidst the chaos. From new sounds to collaborations, there’s been radical reinventions, and exquisite refinements; breathless changes of pace and quiet, renewals of focus. The only constant among our favorites of the year so far is pure, unbridled quality of otherworldly sounds.
1-Laraaji, Sun Piano
Best known for his album Day of Radiance and Vision Songs, Laraaki is one of the masters of the new age movement, and a skilled multi-instrumentalist who expresses himself through the mysterious sounds of his zither, piano, violin, or keyboards. On Sun piano, he brings a refreshing and truly ethereal energy, remembering everyone that the process of healing is infinite, and multi-layered.
2-Sufjan Stevens-Lowell Brams, Aporia
Stevens and his father finally reunite, eleven years after the release of Music for Insomnia, a record inspired by Enya and Board of Canada, as well as film soundtracks including Blade Runner and Under The Skin. The album marks the retirement of Lowell Brahms, Stevens’ step-father and co-founder of the label Ashtamatic Kitty. Aporia is a powerhouse new age album thanks to the family talent displayed by both Stevens and Brahms.
3- Michele Garruti, Glitch
London based artist and music producer Michele Garruti recently released Glitch, a hypnotic soundtrack home to 15 beautifully curated tracks that are mostly piano-driven and sometimes accompanied by gorgeous strings for a truly ethereal, glitchy, and neo-classical timeless feel that will take the new-age and ambient music scene by storm this year.
4- Aquatic Alchemy, Junken Rom
Hong Kong-based Junken Rom is the solo project of electronic artist, Jason Liu, whose ambient music explores transient images of life, and spiritual awareness. Inspired by masters such as Jonn Serrie, Steve Roach, and countless others, he hopes to create more relaxing music that embraces the Cosmos including both the Physical and Spiritual Worlds. His new album Aquatic Alchemy is a translucent project that sheds and transmits pure energy from start to finish.
5- Sign Libra, Sea To Sea
Latvia native Agata Melnikova is a wonderfully talented artist who continues dreaming and sharing her dreams with her loyal audience, this time with a new album, Sea to Sea. Her natural sense of wonder distills serenity and hope over the 9 tracks listed on the record, while building a sonic structure that is as imaginative as powerful when it comes to conveying a sense of peace and dreaminess to the listener.
6-Ancient Voices, Under Open Sky
Ancient Voices is the project imagined by skilled pianist Dan Kennedy and flutist David Rose, for the album Under The Sky. The ethnic ambient record is home to a collection of 9 astonishingly beautiful tracks, filled with an elevating spirit and a gentle sense of reassurance that the almost physical peace it brings is undeniable at first listen. David Rose is a Native American flutist who has been awarded multiple times for his works, while Dan Kennedy is an international performer and a veteran of Whispering and Enlightened Piano Radio.
7- Peter Sterling, Sanctuary of Light
Santa Monica native Peter Sterling started his journey playing the piano at 6 years old, but discovered his mystical connection with the Harp, his main instrument today, at the age of 33 years old. Since, he has been restlessly composing, creating, and sharing his infinite positivity through this magical instrument, and its latest audible proof is Sanctuary of Light, a magnificent album that transmits a calming aura throughout its spiritual collection of 8 compositions, all carrying the listener to an inner sanctum of luminous beauty and divine radiance.