NYC musician Mike Horn releases a mesmerizing and therapeutic collection of seven instrumental tracks entitled Clockwatching (Island House Recordings) under the musical moniker of Seawind Of Battery. If you're looking for the pause button in a world filled with chaos, look no further than these 48 minutes of gorgeous ambient, droning soundscapes that ebb and flow with shimmering reverb, delay and other pedal effects. Clockwatching brings together elements of experimental folk and east coast cosmic country, featuring a unique blend of acoustic guitar, lap steel and pedals, making the listener feel as if they've been suspended in time.
While Seawind of Battery is just a few months young, first surfacing on Bandcamp in early 2022, it is not Mike's first musical project. In 2017, Mike launched his indie folk solo project Goldkey, which released several outstanding singles, including "Mountain" and "Faster," and two impressive EP's - Background (2019) and escapes (2021). His other recent musical collaborations inlude Static Traveler (with Eric Lense) and the psychedelic experimental rock project Sunblinders (with Eric Lense and Jeff Saltzburg).
Writing and playing music since he was 12 years old, with lyrical focus on his own life experiences with a bit of early musical inspiration from Michael Jackson, Mike recalls, "All I've ever wanted to do was write songs – 'Traditional' songs. Verse, Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Bridge, I guess another Chorus or maybe guitar solo -> End of song. Point is I've been doing it for as long as I can remember and nearly obsessing over it my entire life."
A few years ago, Mike received a medical diagnosis that impacted his vocal capacities. He recalls on social media, "In January of 2020, my throat started to feel awful. Then came the pandemic. Doctors found a granuloma on my throat. Anytime I speak or sing, my vocals cords would rub together. As a result, it created a scar tissue build up. Sometimes it feels like a sharp knife stabbing my throat. I had remote vocal lessons to learn how to speak and sing properly to limit the pain."
During that time of his vocal challenges, Mike's musical focus shifted. He explains, "I became more invested in my guitar playing solely to create instrumental music (brand new territory for me). There's so much brilliant music out there that just doesn't see the light of day and it's truly inspiring." The seeds of Seawind of Battery were planted. Listeners would later hear the first ambient sounds of this creative project in the form of debut track "Sidestepping," released in March 2022.
Regarding the choice of the title Clockwatching, Mike comments, "What better describes the collective feeling of pandemic isolation than sitting around and watching the time go by without real meaning or purpose – days, weeks and years blending into one. Time on a loop." And of the songs themselves, Mike adds, "This is the music that has kept me sane and I'm extremely proud of this release ... I love the feeling of sharing something with all of you that has deep meaning to me. If you take a chance on it, I hope it can help provide you with some peace in a world filled with chaos."