In The Branches

News for In The Branches is here.

  1. Introduction
  2. About In The Branches
  3. Discography


In The Branches - Vivid Memories (Banner)
In The Branches – Vivid Memories (2015)

In The Branches is an ambient music project based in Oregon, USA. Most ITB songs are based on live-looped guitar melodies. The relaxing and expansive “space music made with guitars” is often paired with voices, synthesizers, recorded textures, and dramatic landscape visuals from travels across the western USA (and Guatemala, and soon — Europe).

The project has seen positive reactions from the ambient and “ambient guitar” community from places like Bandcamp, YouTube, and Spotify. In The Branches’ collaboration with Bluetech is available on Bandcamp.

Related: Interview with Shane Cotee by Mad Heiress

In The Branches news & updates are here. Scroll down to hear all albums and EP’s.

About In The Branches

In The Branches’ early songs were released only on Soundcloud. They will eventually be remastered or re-recorded and released. The sound was instrumental post-rock in the vein of Hammock and Explosions In The Sky. While that style lingers and may return, In The Branches has many releases out on Bandcamp that are (mostly) ambient soundscapes made from live guitar playing. Other elements include synthesizers, field recordings, vocal recordings, flutes, and sound design.

Improvised guitar loops and hardware effects have remained the core elements of every song since “Expanse Sessions” was released in 2015.


“Wilderness Time (2021 Edition)”

“Valles Marineris” from Planitis Aris EP

“Collected Pieces – Part 1”

“Planetary Confinement”

Recorded in 2018-2019, then finalized while I returned to focusing on my career in software development. Planetary Confinement is a series of snapshots made from live recordings — each captured across 2019 around Portland, Oregon. These days, Oregon doesn’t get rain like it used to, but I’m grateful to have captured and featured some classic Pacific Northwest weather, before the drought really hit.

“The Forever Kind” focuses on soft, soothing, and sometimes dark and hypnotic sounds. Nature and weather recordings tie together a long, patient, and often brooding sound journey. Wordless vocals drift in and out of guitar soundscapes, creating a cinematic lullaby ideal for half-asleep hypnogogic listening.

“Behind The Sky” (with Bluetech) is a groundbreaking collaboration between Shane Cotee’s deep-space-ambient-guitar project In The Branches and electronic/downtempo/space-hop/synth master Evan Bartholomew (Bluetech). This release sparked a new record label, Behind The Sky Music. The album was available to order in 2 x 12″ vinyl on Digger’s Factory. The vinyl is now sold out.

“Transience” (EP), a 2-track EP continuing the minimalist, stripped-down In The Branches sound, evolving into space music over time.

“When Our Dreams Collide”, a new single with a minimalist and emotional approach.

“Final Transmission” (EP) is a free, two-song EP in a similar emotional vein to the self-titled album above.

“In The Branches” (Self-Titled). In some ways, the deepest journey into slow and dramatic guitar soundscapes.

“Monuments” with Neglect, a darker collaboration with western-ambient cohort Joseph Valentino.

“Songs From The Abyss”, a deep journey into live guitar loops, space music, and cinematic storytelling through sound.

“Ghost Owl Three”, a dark ambient journey down memory lane.

“As Real As A Dream”, intended for both listening closely and for playing in the background while going to sleep.

“Lost and Found”, a more sombre group of songs than the usual album:

Wilderness Time” marks a turning point for In The Branches. Most of the guitar parts were recorded in a variety of locations across the western United States (between shows and photography adventures), and then each song was layered and finalized in an isolated location in Montana.

“Live at the TARDIS Room” is a raw live performance recorded March 17, 2016 at Portland’s Doctor Who-themed pub/venue, The TARDIS Room. With only one prepared song (“The Second Half of a Memory”), the remainder of the album is improvised and looped live, in true In The Branches fashion.

“Particles Collide” pushes In The Branches into both lighter and darker territory, for a diverse and unpredictable sound journey across many moods.

“Expanse Sessions II” continues expanding the established style into new territory with more complex layering and diverse textures.

“Vivid Memories”, In The Branches’ second release, continues the deep ambient style while opening up to a much wider sonic variety. Ambient guitar work is still the core of every song, but this time, the soundscapes open up with vocals, field recordings, found sounds, and organic textures.

“Live at the Waypost” was In The Branches’ first live recording in front of an audience. It features one prepared song, “We Are Limitless”, and the rest was improvised.

“Expanse Sessions” is an introspective journey into the possibilities of ambient guitar in the spirit of classic space music, using modern equipment to throw a single note into a cavernous space. It has received some of the best critical acclaim out of all of my albums.