“Memorybell is the ambient project of Grant Hazard Outerbridge, a multi-instrumentalist and classically trained pianist who has been playing music for nearly three decades. From 2003 to 2008, he played bass, keys, and occasionally sang in band The Very Hush Hush, who toured nationally and shared the stage with bands such as Okkervil River, Stereolab, and TV on the Radio. In 2010, under the name Grant Hazard, Outerbridge self-released ‘Genus Euphony’, a solo effort of classical piano infused with subtle electronics.
In February 2014, Outerbridge awoke in a hospital with no memory of how he had arrived. He was diagnosed with transient global amnesia, a condition that causes the brain to temporarily stop making new memories. When he returned to the piano, Outerbridge found his previous compositions sounded garish. He pared them down to their essence and, along with new, more spacious material, constructed a set of variegated and subtle songs that explore the interplay between dissonance and silence.
Carrying his newfound sound forward, Outerbridge adopted the new moniker of Memorybell, creating a new musical project that explores the emotional and environmental possibilities of ambient music, creating pieces that are simultaneously cinematic and intimate, evoking solitude and yearning, affliction and recovery.
After landing in the hands of Hidden Shoal, an Australia-based independent music label, Outerbridge put in motion his new album ‘Obsolete’, an ambient recording of immense potential. Recorded live in a single sitting using only a creaky grand piano and two microphones, ‘Obsolete’ holds a rare, solitary sound and lingering brilliance that most ambient pieces can only dream of.
It’s spacious, with songs often composed of just a few hallowed notes, but what Outerbridge creates from the silence between is astonishing. Deeply affecting and instantly captivating, the album captures Outerbridge’s world in vivid sound and tantalising composition. 8/10″