From start to finish, Convalescing In Braille is a musical sun shower. Piano chords drizzle lightly from each track as scattered cymbals and clouded vocals break way for sunlit instrumental arrangements on the fifth album release from Todd Gautreauâ€™s indie pop project, Crushed Stars. This time around, the tempestuous Gautreau expands his one man show to include Jeff Ryan on percussion, and together they produce a melodically delicate and enchantingly moody album that lives up to the expectations placed upon the band after 2008â€™s critically acclaimed Gossamer Days.
On Convalescing In Braille, each track is composed with simple instrumental arrangements set against monotonic vocals—but itâ€™s never boring. The minimalist approach broadens every few seconds within each song as a new sound or instrument is introduced, creating compositions that sound complex, even when focused on one melody. The recordâ€™s mood is hastily set with opening ballad "Black Umbrellas," as light acoustic chords flutter within the songâ€™s dark ambiance. Fragile riffs and Gautreauâ€™s hollow singing make standout track "Eyeliner" quietly beautiful, while "Technicolor" provides a break in the somber vibe with a change in demeanor created by speedier guitar strumming. The sweetly symphonic "Ocean" closes the album on a high note, a dreamy number that combines romantic songwriting with soothing instrumental harmonies. Convalescing In Brailleis a gray, emotional album that eventually makes good on the promise of a rainbow. By all means, let it rain.