As a one-man project, The One AM Radio isn't about intensity as much as it is complexity. It's exquisitely simple: folktronica personified as breakbeat rhythms dance around acoustic mutterings and slight string arrangements. The one man, Hrishikesh Hirway, is a graduate of Yale, which halfway explains how his music can be so well-crafted but not particularly empowering. His melancholy vocals keep his new album, This Too Will Pass, subdued from escaping into the charismatic, but overall, provide great mood. It's a bedroom album – and not the sexy kind.
It's more of a headphones-on, staring-at-the-ceiling mood. This Too Will Pass, like its title, has a somber positivity throughout. It's not depressive, it's just dark, but specks of light shining through. On top of the sleek, mousy drums are various arrangements of light acoustic guitar and orchestral elements that are like sonic quicksand.
There are some flashlight-in-the-rain effects in the album that keep the album from getting dull. "Lest I Forget" has a smooth brass flourish near the end. "Mercury" has a modern-day Peter and the Wolf tinge with a dark woodwind dirge highlighting the pattering drums and flickering guitar that altogether, evoke rain in a thick forest. "In The Time We've Got" has the strongest drums of the album and swirling "ahhs" that are solid placeholders.
While there isn't much variation on This Too Will Pass, its mood is well-established and is, at least, very place-specific. Hirway's third album is intelligent and soothing. It's possible that it just does a good job of not trying to do too much. After all, one-man projects tend to be one-man projects for a reason: to not do too much. In that regard, it accomplishes a lot with relative ease.