The American Dollar – Ambient 3

Ambient Three cover art

The American Dollar are a two piece electronic post-rock band from New York who are among my very favorite artists in the post-rock genre. Now in their 7th year, their discography is chalked full of dreamy numbers that ease your mind of worry and put your soul in a safe place. The American Dollar is my go to band when I need a calm moment to reflect or to relax after a stressful day. The band can also lay claim to what I consider one of the top five songs ever created, that track being “Anything you Synthesize” from their 2008 masterpiece ‘A Memory Stream’. I’ll stop professing my love for them now.

Earlier this year the band released ‘Awake in the City’ which received a 94% when Postrockstar was nothing more than a facebook note accessible by a handful of people. “Ambient Three” is more of a  companion album to that release as the ambient series has become somewhat of a fixture in the band’s release cycle. At over an hour-long spanning across 17 tracks, I wouldn’t quite call it a remix album. Essentially what the band has done is taken their ‘Awake in the City’ album and stripped it of its beats, drums and guitar layers, leaving each track as a barebones experience of just synthesizers, piano and electronica layers. All in all it leaves for an amazing ambient journey that fans of lighter or ambient work should fall in love with.

If you’ve heard their ‘Awake in the City’ album (and there’s no reason you shouldn’t have by now), ‘Ambient 3’ will obviously feel very similar. I think that treading upon familiar territory is actually one of this album’s strongest points. There are no curve balls to be found here and therefore there are no real expectations to be had. What we have is simply an hours worth of the most soothing music you will hear all year.  Hearing these tracks stripped of their uptempo drums and beats and void of any front and center guitar work always gives me a new found appreciation for  The American Dollar’s work. Your ears will thank you for listening to this release.

Also included on ‘Ambient 3’ is a film edit of the opening track “Faces in Haze” and 4 new tracks that are just a tad more upbeat than the ambient cuts of ‘Awake in the City‘ but still retain the same mood and synergy found on the album. As if the ambient cuts weren’t enough, the new tracks are just a real treat and really drive home the value of this album.

As I mentioned earlier the album doesn’t really tread on any new ground and the bulk of the material technically isn’t new, therefore I feel it’s unfair to offer a score for the album. I will say that this album is certainly on par with any other release from the band and that I do feel it is a legitimate album that wasn’t just thrown together as a cash grab like some bands tend to do when releasing alternate takes of their work. If you need some deep relaxation, pick up this album immediately, put the headphones on and drift away.

Available for $7 on bandcamp: http://theamericandollar.bandcamp.com/album/ambient-three