Love Streams

Tim Hecker - Love Streams
Critic Score
Based on 23 reviews
2016 Ratings: #99 / 760
User Score
Based on 188 ratings
2016 Ratings: #310
April 8, 2016 / Release Date
LP / Format
4AD / Label
Ambient, Glitch / Genres
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Consequence of Sound

Very few composers can achieve this kind of beauty or this kind of experimentation, and yet Hecker does both, time and time again. Love Streams feels a lot like drifting along a cool river under the Northern Lights on a sailboat, until the boat sprouts wings and zooms into the heavens.


Love Streams is always on the move. It’s alive and constantly evolving: a slippery beast of a record that you can try and get a hold of, but thankfully you probably never will.


It makes perfect sense that Love Streams is Hecker’s first record with label 4AD, as it sort of sounds like the Cocteau Twins if they decided to live inside a glacier, communing with Old Norse land spirits and subsisting exclusively on psychedelic mushrooms. Love Streams is at once familiar and totally alien; a work of art that reminds us why we need art in the first place.


If Ravedeath, 1972 and Virgins were pinnacles for the producer, Love Streams leaps into orbit, beaming elegiac streams of sound to the heavens and beyond. 

Drowned in Sound

At times Love Streams is astonishingly direct. In fact it could be considered the most instantly memorable and accessible album Hecker has made since Haunt Me, Haunt Me, Do It Again.


Like Virgins, Love Streams tackles a lot of abstract concepts, like "live" sound, and synthetic sound, and rooms and space, and technology's ability to complicate all those things. But it's also about the ability to disappear into sound, to get lost in the contours of a slippery timbre, or to be made whole by a consonant harmony.


Love Streams is easily Hecker's most accessible work to date, yet it's also one of his most challenging, as it finds him pushing his sound into new directions while he explores the possibilities of the human voice.

Less reliant on theory or process, 'Love Streams' is a testament to Hecker’s innate musical sense of direction.
The Guardian

It feels like music aimed at the gut, rather than the head, which might explain its burgeoning appeal. In the best possible way, Love Streams is a draining listen.

The Skinny

It’s a triumph ... a dense, paranoid and phenomenally pretty exploration of post-millennial wonder that’ll keep you coming back, even as it fills the pit of your stomach with dread.

Loud and Quiet
After almost 20 years and eight albums of experimentation, Hecker’s long past reasonable doubt, and ‘Love Streams’ continues to prove his brilliantly complex theory.
Tiny Mix Tapes

Doubt, disbelief, and uncertainty are conjured across Love Streams, both as bludgeoning buildups and tumbling segues. 

Resident Advisor

Love Streams' winding, tributary structure flows naturally but evades straight lines. The album boasts Hecker's broadest timbral palette to date: he moves effortlessly between the acoustic and the electronic, the gossamer and the wooly.

A.V. Club

Love Streams washes over you—or sometimes floats by off in the horizon—due to its subtlety and complex, deliberate construction.

Pretty Much Amazing

I found Love Streams less fulfilling than most of Hecker’s recent output. But fans with a high stress tolerance and an inclination towards the noisier side of ambient will likely find plenty to love about this record.


Like the sleazy glow of a neon cross, Love Streams is a beacon for sanctuary and salvation in these most unholy of modern times.

Slant Magazine

Simply enough, Love Streams is a discomforting listen, and the addition of voices to Hecker's repertoire adds an additional tool of disorientation to his web of repurposed crackles and spurts, not the warmth one might expect.


It feels ecclesiastical, like hymns for the digital age. Hecker has once again shaped something that feels weighty and important, shafts of light illuminating the dark landscape.

The Needle Drop

Experimental music producer Tim Hecker comes through with a warmer, but more disconnected, collection of tracks on his new album, Love Streams.

Love Streams is a bit of a misstep in Tim's evergrowing discography for how it roughly follows in a similar direction to his collaboration with Daniel Lopatin, Instrumental Tourist. The songs are all pretty aimless and provide little to no fulfilling moments throughout their duration. The only thing that really wowed me in the end was the brand new sound palette that Tim provides. The ghostly, choir arrangements especially are something that Tim needs to utilize way more.

Favourite tracks: ... read more
Structurally his weakest release, compositionally it is still an inviting and intriguing listen. Super warm synths, fantastic use of choral elements. Some of the tracks just feel unpleasantly unfinished and leave an album with little to no ebb and flow.
You can still pluck out any track and find something beautiful about it honestly.
This was ok. Not much to grab onto -- nothing very memorable, but makes for interesting background.
Hecker's marked shift in structure and tone has paid off. A majestic, mature "grower." This level of composition doesn't need the haze, reverb and noise of his earlier work. Shit is flawless.
Not Tim Hecker's strongest, but I appreciate the sound he's going for here and that he's still able to create a sonic experience unlike anyone else on earth. The sound on Love Streams is more of a partial evolution of the demented multi-instrumental soundscapes on Virgins than a total reinvention. The new elements here are forlorn, haunted synthesizers and samples of choir vocals. If I have any disappointment with Love Streams, it's that Hecker didn't make greater use of these new elements as ... read more
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Track List

  1. Obsidian Counterpoint
  2. Music of the Air
  3. Bijie Dream
  4. Live Leak Instrumental
  5. Violet Monumental I
  6. Violet Monumental II
  7. Up Red Bull Creek
  8. Castrati Stack
  9. Voice Crack
  10. Collapse Sonata
  11. Black Phase
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Added on: January 27, 2016