Review by Ned Raggett
Peter Broderick's first solo full-length, done after a variety of collaborations and backing stints for other performers, is a short, quiet delight, ten songs just edging over half-an-hour that shows the Portland musician has an ear for the hushed and atmospheric, making his formal studio recording work sound like a recital in a Victorian parlor instead. The piano and strings that make up the opening "A Snowflake" set the tone of Float, which could almost be an understated soundtrack to a moody documentary, the soft echo of notes mixing with a room sound where disconnected noises and echoes function almost on the level of the similar sounds Martin Hannett gave Joy Division on Unknown Pleasures -- less dramatic perhaps, but still designed to leave the listener wondering a bit about what exactly is being heard. Piano is Broderick's primary instrument throughout, and if his compositions are working in a familiar vein -- more Harold Budd than Glenn Gould, say -- then it's all still very well done, with the flowing lyricism of a song like "Stopping on the Broadway Bridge" (the longest song on the album and the most accomplished in its feeling of living up to the title), making for a highlight. Calm instances of vocalizations, as on "A Glacier" and "Another Glacier" add a further layer of almost-clear interpretation that beguiles the listener without fully resolving into clear meaning.