🎵 Sixteen Oceans (Four Tet)

Listened Sixteen Oceans, by Four Tet from Four Tet

16 track album

I love this album, but I wonder if I would love anything by Kieran Hebden, especially a long play.


Stereogum Premature Evaluation

Sixteen Oceans does not feel catastrophic — it feels serene and meditative. Gone is the static and the glitchy, unexpected samples that characterized Four Tet’s early output. Only its lead single “Baby” — featuring vocal samples from electropop superstar Ellie Goulding — recalls the club-ready bangers of his house-indebted albums: 2010’s There Is Love In You, 2012’s Pink, and 2013’s Beautiful Rewind. Even then, there’s a full minute-long pause in the middle of the track featuring little more than trickling water, crashing waves, and again, birds. When Goulding’s voice returns and the beat drops back in to finish out the track, the focus has irrevocably shifted toward those languid, contemplative tones previously residing in the background. Sixteen Oceans is more akin to Hebden’s 2017 album New Energy, in that it finds breathing space in moments with little-to-no tempo, interstitial ambient pieces, and bouts of warm sentimentality — compare, for instance, New Energy track “Daughter” and Oceans closer “Mama Teaches Sanskrit” — but this newest LP is magnitudes more pristine, a steady tide coming in to smooth sand into glass.

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