Giles Lamb’s debut album is out? How is it that Spotify knew about this before me?
Lamb is a Scottish composer who has been slowly breaking into the world of video games, TV, and film (a sample of his works can be seen here). He quickly rose to Internet notoriety due to the music he created for the award-winning Dead Island trailer — the video of which has amassed over 13 million views and can be experienced here. Many non-video game players such as myself rejoiced at the prospect of a full soundtrack of Lamb’s material. Alas, Pawel Blaszczak was given the task of actually scoring the game, with mixed results. And so it appears to have gone for Lamb over the years; he’s scored bits and pieces here and there, but he’s still waiting for an opportunity to take a particular game, show, or movie and give it his own spin, thereby enchanting all who cross its path.
Luckily for us, Lamb has released Before the Birds to tide us over until that time comes. True to Lamb’s style, Birds is a collection of tracks that are beautiful, engrossing, and suitably aspirational. In the manner of many of today’s more pop-oriented composers (like Arnalds, Frahm, Wenngren, Kenniff, et al), Lamb sticks to a simple style that hovers around the intersection of modern classical and ambient music. Those familiar with 2011’s Transform will notice that Lamb is focused more on the organic in Before the Birds, and that reduced layer of complexity yields great emotional returns. Lamb is back in the zone that he found on the Dead Island trailer: relatively simple compositions can invoke strong feelings in the audience when paired with the right accompaniment. And thus the 40 minutes of music waltzes by and captures us in the composers magical sound.
As evidenced here, Lamb is certainly up for the challenge of a full score. All he needs is the right project with the right opportunity, and we could very well be hearing a lot more of Lamb’s music.