Think Good Audio’s Michael Haynes was hospitalized earlier this year with a severe case of COVID-19; his October release, Breathe, wordlessly chronicles the harrowing experience.
Breathe‘s ten tracks, each less than two minutes long, lead the listener through the doors of the ICU, past beeping ventilators and disembodied gasps for air, and into the light of a life given deeper meaning through struggle. The music here is less beat-heavy than it’s been on some of Think Good Audio’s previous releases, instead focusing on texture and atmosphere to communicate emotional states. Despite the album’s dire subject matter, a sense of peace pervades even the bleakest moments, suggesting a soul’s most elemental reckoning with itself. “Day by day,” one of Breathe‘s latter tracks, features gently warped piano loops, accompanied at first by pared-down percussion and then by nothing at all. It feels like a hearth glowing in the middle of winter, a small cocoon of warmth that refuses to be extinguished.