Boomkat Product Review:
Ambient/neo-classical shapeshifter Theodore Cale Schafer comes into their own on a sublime, instrumentally diaristic album strafing textured ambient noise to widescreen, rustic scapes that feel nostalgic yet tentatively optimistic, each riddled by a fleeting play of emotions comparable to works from his collaborators, claire rousay, Angelo Harmsworth, or picnic, as much as Sean McCann or Ian William Craig
“The second album in a planned trilogy for Students of Decay, Theodore Cale Schafer’s “Trust” follows 2019’s “Patience,” building upon its motifs and compositional strategies to arrive at a potent document of artistic and personal growth. Recorded between 2020 and 2022, a period in which Schafer relocated to New York City, these arrangements feel like they bear the mark of a change in scale, not abandoning the private, diaristic sensibility of his earlier work so much as imbuing it with a charged atmosphere of vivid, slow-blooming intensity.
These songs find the artist tightrope-walking between drama and austerity, narrative and abstraction. Such is the case on both “Luck,” in which a captivating wash of baroque strings slowly recedes into a bed of inky, flickering ambience, and “Best Friend,” wherein snatches of conversation are halted by entrancing piano motifs and hovering drones.
This is an album that develops aspects of Schafer’s previous output– the patiently meted out, barely-there piano melodies, the unexpected resonance of off-the-cuff location recordings– working them like raw materials into robust, lyrical compositions. At times almost drifting into the romantic realm of the orchestral, “Trust” is the most generous and expansive offering we’ve heard from Schafer in his young career.”