This is truly beautiful. Explosions in the Sky is a four-piece (two guitars, bass, and drums) that gets lumped into the post-rock category, but they dramatically surpass the standards generally set for the idiom. They do the episodic build-build-build-climax-repeat formula like, say, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, but this music achieves something very different. The music is sparse and minimal with a genuine emotive power. The sparseness is present in the textural thinness (only four instrumentalists, remember), with guitars generally playing starry arpeggios with an empathetic rhythmic backing. With so much breathing room, the music fills the pockets of space left by bare instrumentation with simple emotional resonance that might not have prevailed with denser arrangements. The music is minimal not because it is in repetitive stasis, but because the song construction focuses on a collegial series of sounds development rather than linear evolutions.
Explosions in the Sky's first album was bleak with a glimmer of hope. Here, everything is brushed away and the beauty is fully exposed. Rather than describe each piece, I will just say that the music here evokes lovely images: spending time by the sea with a special someone, the earth in bloom, looking to the nighttime sky full of stars through a branchy canopy of trees, love & friendship, rebirth, etc. Just look at the song titles -- they have very fitting names.
Highly recommended, along with their first album, _Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Live Forever_.
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