“There can be comfort even in a time of struggle. Jacob Watkins, Dead Man’s Lifestyle’s sole member, shows great control within a wide range of approaches to ambient and drone compositions with ‘From Below’, a collection that touches on just as wide an array of emotions. There’s a dynamic quality from track to track that helps this album stand out among those of its ilk, while still giving the listener a surprising cohesive listen.
“Haint #1” is reminiscent of something you’d expect to find on Richard D. James ‘Select Ambient Works’, poignant and building, while “Haint #2” and “Where the Caverns Grow” bring flashes of Fripp and Eno’s ‘Evening Star’ album, taking a turn for the brighter side of things with a fresh sense of optimism. “For those who don’t exist” sees an even greater shift in approach, with a collage of folk/post-rock influenced guitar and field recordings that build into a beautiful wall of sound, exerting power and comfort simultaneously. “Dryad” brings a sense of suspense and climax, which builds and then resolves into the amply titled “Waking Up in the Daylight”, which while being the album closer feels more like the beginning of what’s to come.
On ‘From Below’ Watkins’ has crafted a beautiful song-story that is easily relatable yet unpredictable. A refreshing listen in a genre already overflowing with talent, this album promises great things to come from Dead Man’s Lifestyle.”
-Joshua Tabbia, Already Dead Tapes, 2016