The album’s title - named after Beak’s eight-year-old daughter and oldest child - is a reflection of this boiled-down, reflective approach and marks the second entry in his meditative instrumental trilogy. Inspired largely by his new life as a family man and a recent deep dive into all things mindfulness, self wellness, and gratitude, Penelope thrives on ambient atmospherics, gentle melodies, and carefully-crafted percussion to create its own pulsing sonic universe. Every musical element is allowed the time and space to breathe and grow into a full-fledged composition, and the lack of vocals allows Beak to explore a much richer musical sound bed, giving each instrument its own moment in a constantly revolving spotlight. Whereas 2019’s Luther relied on darker retrospection and murky electronics, Penelope steps out of the water and into the sunlight, gravitating towards warm guitar tones, rich analog synths, and live percussion to accentuate a much lighter and brighter vision. Lead-off track “Treetops” recalls the feeling of laying on a deserted island as palm leaves sway above in the breeze, while the acoustic strums and uplifting choral build of “River Wide” joyously weave together to create what could easily be the soundtrack to an outtake from The Lion King.
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