Album Review: Hospital Ships ‘The Past Is Not A Flood’

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In his fourth album under the Hospital Ships moniker, Jordan Geiger takes listeners on a meditative journey that explores some heavy themes. The Past Is Not A Flood features production from John Congleton (St. Vincent, Modest Mouse, Chelsea Wolfe) and is a collab with Swans percussionist, Thor Harris.

Although it is only a six-song record, almost every track spans beyond the five-minute mark, giving you plenty of time to reflect on the nature of depression, anxiety, loneliness and obsession that each song explores so openly. Atmospheric keyboards, layered synths, and wispy, fragile vocals are the foundation of the album, and serve as a stark contrast to the mournful and confessional nature of the lyrics.

Despite the heavy themes, however, Geiger finds a way to string in little doses of optimism throughout. While most of the songs trudge along at a leisurely pace, the tempo picks up with the livelier beats of “All In Time.” Although the song ends in a chant of “we’re all going to die,” one can’t help but appreciate the reality that Geiger meditates on in his lyrics. The acoustic piano of “Little Flower” also stands out as a bright spot in the album. While the majority of the tracks are a blend of acoustic and electric sounds, “Little Flower” is the most stripped-down of them all, and is successful in accentuating the delicate nature of Geiger’s vocals. As the album comes to a close, the dense instrumental layers pick up once again, making for a robust and memorable finale.

The Past Is Not A Flood is the record you want to play on repeat on those rainy days spent in bed. While there are brighter moments, the underlying theme is that sadness is a part of life—a necessary part of everyone’s life—that you have to learn to face. Sometimes it feels good to hurt, sometimes it feels good to cry. And that is just the reality that Geiger explores in this record.

A junior studying journalism and music business at the University of Georgia, Camren spends her time procrastinating under the discover tab on Spotify and taking pictures of her dog. After spending the summer abroad, she has a remarkable appreciation for good gelato, cheap wine and British accents. With favorites like Simon and Garfunkel, Dave Matthews Band, Coldplay and Moon Taxi, she is open to a variety of musical genres and is a connoisseur of any and all music festivals. In her spare time you can find her binge watching her latest obsession on Netflix or dreaming of ways to meet and marry John Krasinski.

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