Jakub Alexander is a Polish-born, Brooklyn-based producer who also performs as Heathered Pearls. Loyal is the ambient-electro music project’s debut album on Ghostly International, and its sounds coincidentally match Alexander’s Twitter bio: “Circular repetition at low levels.” On this album, Alexander took inspiration from the ocean, its great mass and even the overwhelming thought of disaster that may occur at sea, and translated these fears and wonders into something beautiful.
The beginning of the album possesses a handful of short tracks that serve as one large intro. With the thought that the entire album has oceanic inspirations, it’s almost as if the first few tracks are setting you to sea. The catalyst track that journeys from short, intro-like compositions and into more complex, almost stressful songs is “Left Climber,” a mix between the two different aesthetics. The stress is carried on with “Steady Veil,” a darker, more repetitive track with deeper and more structured sounds, almost like a ticking clock.
“Raising Our Ashes” is the follow-up and provides a bit of relief to the listener until “Ringing Temple” begins, with full tribal beats that invade right off the bat, as opposed to many of the other tracks that take a minute to build. “Precious Dive” brings the last of the hypnotizing repetition and harsh sounds, starting small and virtually non-existent for the first minute and then growing into an ambient beat. It’s almost like the further you dive into water, the more your ears will pop. There is a sense of altitude within the sounds.
“Docile Touch” wraps the album in a full circle, providing listeners with a more relaxing and less complex song. Though Loyal is a nail-biter at its core, the journey Alexander takes you on with this album ends with calm.