Tim Hecker – The North Water: Soundtrack Review

First score release for the Canadian producer/Sound artist Tim Hecker finds him working in the tones of icy water.

Release Date: Out Now (Digital) / January (Physical)

Label: Invada Records / Lakeshore Records

Format: LP / CD / Digital

For his first ever official score release the brilliant Tim Hecker chose the recently screened drama series The North Water. The drama follows the crew on a whaling ship and is a gripping and darkly absorbing series focused on morality, sanity and the ghosts of our past and a large part of what makes The North Water such an absorbing drama is Hecker’s wonderful score.

Featuring synths, cellos, and other electronics, Hecker’s score paints a duality of sounds throughout making it a decidedly schizophrenic (in a good way) listen. At times the sounds are expansive and highly emotional whilst other moments see you swallowed up in a horrible sense of claustrophobia and dread. There are a few moments of brief respite where Hecker allows some sunlit warmth to pierce the cold but overall you are taken through sounds that crunch and crack like ice and whistle and swirl like biting winter wind.

The highlights of the score are when Hecker and his team of musicians manage to make pieces that transcend their creative sources like on Winter’s Coming where it sounds like you are listening to the most broken hearted whale song whilst also getting an overbearing sense of human sadness and fear. The fact that we then morph in the Carpenter / DROKK-esque Loot is a prime example of how Hecker walks the thin line between flesh and machine.

For this score, Tim Hecker has not only rising to the challenge set by the source material it is accompanying but it has that quality that all truly great scores has where you can perfectly enjoy it without seeing a single image from the drama itself. The North Water stands tall amongst all of Tim Hecker’s work and for this writer it also sits high amongst the best scores released this year.

Tim Hecker: Bandcamp / Website / Twitter / Facebook / Instagram

Invada Records: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Lakeshore Records: Website / Facebook / Twitter

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