Tuesday, 8 February 2011

'A Song for our Fathers' by @diaryofaledger

Sometimes music is just all about how it makes you feel.  Classical music lovers will get that.  Emotion and passion dripping from something that contains no words.  This album is like that but different.

I first heard Explosions in the Sky four years ago, recommended by a friend at work who'd stuck this album (How Strange, Innocence) on the department iPods and I was immediately hooked.   Their debut from 2000 is one of the most beautiful albums I own.  Electric guitar, bass and drums but no words.  At all.  It's an instrumental rock album that works on so many levels.

At times it's incredibly mournful, quiet and pretty.  At others it's uplifting and joyful.  And there's noise too.  Loads of it.

The four piece create something that you can live in over the seven tracks.  With headphones on, lights off, it's a magical listen.  Never pretentious, never forced, just slow and deliberate in its simplicity and all of its interwoven complexity.

The surprise for me was not missing lyrics at all in a rock album.  There are moments when the guitars do enough of the speaking for you.  Glittering Blackness, just past half way through, has some wonderfully timed moments as the song breaks from a wall of sound into a gentle refrain.  You get utterly lost in where the songs go as they spiral and spin into different directions, the band clearly embracing the lack of words as a chance to push off in other directions mid track without deviating from a songs purpose.

So how does it make me feel?  I discovered them at a rough time and there's some of that emotion residing in there when I listen to it now.  But that's the beauty of it, because you're not being forced to accept that the songs actually about anything they take on new meanings each time you listen.  And tonight as I type I guess what I get is hope.  And that's a good thing.

Explosions in the Sky aren't a one off, but their beautiful delivery make them a very special band and there are another four albums since this one to immerse yourself in.  Lovely.

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