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By: Cole Sherburne


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I’m always stretched thin during the Dark Seasons, and shifting to a nocturnal schedule certainly doesn’t help at home. But walking among the Brightdown Ferns lingers in my mind like phosphenes in my vision. When I saw the [??????????????] a few years ago, I was really burning the candle at both ends. Told myself I’d never forget its layout, its architecture, but the image has faded. If I see it again, I’m making a promise to myself. Map it out — it won’t last.

Traditional Dreams For January marks the 25th album in the seagull’s prolific discography. It is the 10th album in what fans are calling the Jalardi series. Starting with The End of All Known Land, these series of albums tell the story of humanity colonizing the planet Jalardi, hoping to use its resources to save the Earth after a nuclear war turned the planet fallow. The album has a similar sound to his album Earth Journos, but with a cozier warmer feeling. The album opens with Crescent Lanterns where soft piano and cozy synths are layered throughout. It gives the feeling of walking through a garden in the early morning. Next are tracks like Fluorescent Metals with a rhythmic drum beat that leads the song. Then there are the ambient tracks like Garden Edge and A Way For Sleeping with their relaxing soundscapes that transport me to the world of Jalardi. However, Hello Meteor’s Music can seem quite strange at times with tracks like Night Time Commute. The opening synths on the track have an odd color and texture to them that can be off-putting to new listeners. There is no discernible key or melodic tone. It makes for the kind of song one might be inclined to skip after a second or two of listening. But if you stick with it you will find a richly textured song full of color and life. His music is not cut from the same cloth as contemporary artists like Taylor Swift, SZA and Olivia Rodrigo or classics like Queen, Beatles and Stones. The seagull charts his own path, flying with the winds less traveled in electronic music and the broader musical world. His music can be hard to describe. With the Jalardi series, a lot of tracks tend to have unusual names like Cloud Development Time Lapse or Mesh Fabricants in the case of this album. Trying to describe what these songs sound like feels impossible but when you listen to them the name fits perfectly. Hello Meteor’s music requires more thoughtful listening but rewards you deeply for doing so. As someone perfectly put it, it truly is a mood altering pill for your brain. While it’s not my favorite album of his, Traditional Dreams For January is another high quality release from the seagull. Each track is richly layered with texture, color and life and it’s another album of his that I’ll be replaying over and over again.


Score: 8/10


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