If the journey of time between closing one’s eyes and entering the limitless space of dreams encompassed background music, this impressionistic seven-piece compilation would be it. “A Winged Victory for the Sullen” is a timeless creation, presented by composers, Dustin O’Halloran and Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie, whose chance encounter through a mutual colleague, according to the band’s FaceBook page, gave birth to “an offspring of harmonic robitussinal compositions for the world to savor.”
Upon first listen, the aforementioned description and self-proclaimed clever genre, harmonic robitussin, is the precise effect which overcomes the listener. In the presence of a host of instruments, primarily those of pianos and strings, “A Winged Victory for the Sullen” evokes the sensation of floating through the clouds in the sky and soaring over the seemingly unconquerable obstacles in life, as evidenced by “A Symphony Pathetique.” Yet, as indicated by their aptly-titled group name, the songs suggest victory in the end as they build from quieter sections and transcend into a flourishing array of musical ambience. The album’s opening track, “We Played Some Open Chords and Rejoiced, for the Earth Had Circled the Sun Yet Another Year,” accomplished a sound which conveys the message of the long-winded title. Beginning with an orchestra of strings, the song delves into the stroking of piano keys, softly increasing and gradually evolving into a beautiful melody, only to later fade out into a sea of nothingness.
Tranquility is what is felt upon the conclusion of listening to “A Winged Victory for the Sullen,” and with the same tranquilizing influence that Robitussin may have on all who consume it, O’Halloran and Wiltzie will have many people hooked and begging for more in the future.