Since 2012, Jungol’s Josh Yoder has been crafting ambient pop and celestial soundscapes under the solo moniker Little Vitamins. Until recently he hadn’t exactly been prodigious — a new single here, an experimental composition there — but over the past month Yoder has been blowing up his SoundCloud profile with a bevy of new singles and sound sets. Included in this barrage is a three-song EP called Adrift, which features some of Little Vitamin’s most adventurous work to date.
Clocking in at a fairly lengthy 32:56, the EP requires some endurance to get through; although there’s liberal use of drone, looping passages and repeated textures, I wouldn’t deem this music you can throw on and zone out to. Opener and title track, “Adrift,” for instance, with its buzzing electronics and swelling sheets of noise, has too much underlying tension. Certainly there’s a feeling of being suspended in space, of being set adrift as it were, but that feeling is accompanied by a sense of impending danger and unease – call it paranoia, if you will – that haunts the track and leaves the listener cloaked in an aura of restlessness.
“Afloat” is a more tranquil and cinematic affair, a picturesque soundscape built of softly shimmering melodies and aquatic noises that conjures images of vast ocean depths and underwater cities long abandoned. There’s an otherwordly, almost sci-fi quality to the recording, one that doesn’t rely on alien landscapes to transport the listener, but on presenting the natural world in such a way that it seems foreign and new. It’s engrossing, yes, but not in a manner that leads you to close your eyes and reflect. Rather, each passage seeks to have its presence felt, compelling the listener to remain attentive and alert for the next change.
Closer “Ashore” with its echoing guitar and percussion shuffling subtly in the distance is the shortest and most accessible of these tracks, meaning there’s a sense of movement and structure, however faint. It’s also happens to be the most beautiful of the three songs, a gorgeously languid composition that balances space and sound in a manner that feels just right. On top of his impressive resume as a musician, Yoder is an accomplished artist and filmmaker, and throughout the EP you can see him putting some of that visual language to work. Everything on Adrift is just so — the way sounds complement one another, the use of color and texture, the way everything is proportioned and laid out. Like all good art, it’s not for everyone, but those who find themselves on Yoder’s wavelength will no doubt find it captivating and well worth the work.