Patient Hands
There Are No Graves Here
Saskatoon, SK
RIYL: Ernest Hood; Adrianne Lenker’s instrumentals; borscht

There Are No Graves Here maps the sounds of grief and familial bonds. Patient Hands’  Alexander Stooshinoff was in “a wretched juxtaposition” while composing the album’s hushed, field recording-punctuated, ambient pieces, grieving the end of a long term romantic relationship and caring for his ill mother. 

You can feel the emotional intensity immediately, on “Opening,” when Stooshinoff unleashes a flood of coarse synth sounds which, a few pieces later, on the brief “On Hiatus,” gets rougher and sinister sounding. Overtop the misty drone-scape of the goosebump-inducing “No Graves,” Stooshinoff speaks to us, reflecting on the day’s events and accompanying emotions. He breathes deeply and is lost in these reflections and the uncertainty of everything.

But in spite of all of this, there’s an unexpected warmth to There Are No Graves Here. Stooshinoff’s improvised acoustic guitar melodies are often coupled with the affable sounds of a family gathering: they assemble for dinner to eat borscht and talk about their day. They toast “to health!” A quiet knock on the door is heard and another family member enters the scene like a character does in a family sitcom. While the heaviness of uncertainty is always present, Stooshinoff makes clear that family – however you define it – is a constant. 

Laura Stanley