Time Flies is the latest excursion from Ben Rosenbach’s one-man electronic post-rock project Our Alarm Clock. Now a Dad in his thirties, he spent most of his formative musical years playing in playing in Christian rock bands. His latest is a collection on which the worship rock alumni takes us through a secular and mostly wordless song cycle filled with deep pockets of ambient, pop, and post-rock; all of which are all filtered through his spiritually honed inner lens.
It’s an odd juxtaposition to have a set of songs be so polished, yet feel so personal. While listening, you sometimes feel like he invited you over to audition some of the songs he cooked up in his home studio the night before or while his kid was taking a nap. The album ebbs and flows in intensity, and moods oftentimes within the same track. Album highlight “A Sealed Up Secret Wish” starts with minimal backwards-tracked guitars, and slowly builds in intensity until it has morphed into something resembling Godspeed You! Black Emperor, if you could imagine them dressed in their Sunday best, and sporting fresh haircuts. While on vocal tracks such as “Pictures,” the artist sounds like he’s trying his damndest to work out his existential crises, and unresolved feelings in what sounds like real time.
Time Flies is an album that seems to work best, when Rosenbach allows the listener to glimpse a little more of the man behind the machine, such as on album closer, “Sunrise” which finds him looking up, still seeking the answers, and inviting us to do the same. While not every track or experiment presented here always works, there’s absolutely no doubt that there’s a real guy at the heart of it trying to get to the bottom of it all through his music. The world around us would probably be a better place, if more us cast our eyes skyward every once in a while and followed suit.
Buy the album direct from the artist.