There’s a remarkable variety of music presenting under the post-rock heading.
Nanaki — Absence
Nanaki’s Absence feels like the soundtrack to your winter explorations. If you don’t live someplace where there’s an actual substantive change going into winter, than you can turn on the record and imagine you’re someplace else all the same.
The expansive post-rock record delivers a careful cascade of melody that lays out a metaphorical path ahead of the listener. The band — consisting of just one man at this point, apparently — fills their songs in enough so that there’s a driving force at play, and yet, at the same time, there’s a sense of wonder and exploration thanks to their willingness to push their melodic undertakings to the edge. This boundary expansion emanates from elements ranging from the lengthy song structure to the effective use of not entirely traditional lighter tones throughout the work. (There’s what sounds like a ukulele pop up at one point, for instance.)
The record, thanks to its substance, really puts the listener someplace new. Absence packs the band’s particular vision, rather than just leaving the listener hanging, letting them truly float away — metaphorically, at least. Nanaki work their sound just right so as to end up with listeners in the palm of their hand. The band feels pleasant and inviting; they’ve leveraged their usage of sound just right so as to let something truly new emerge. Notes aren’t lost via the wide-open songs — they’re enveloped into a greater monument to substantive, exploratory music. There’s something foreboding and demanding in the middle of this winter wonderland listeners have found themselves in — now it’s just time to find out what it is.
Listen below via Bandcamp.
Dutch Elm — Distortion In Dreams
Dutch Elm provide an organic, expansive experience for the listener via their thick, pounding, two track Distortion In Dreams release. Here, the concept of post-rock with its broad song structures and careful melodic exposition has been thickened. There’s a depth, and even almost a punch to the band’s work that makes it stick out.
The work sounds like that of our collective beating heart. While there’s not any sort of disjointed sense, the band has a resounding range in their work, jumping into familiar slow passages as easily as they weave into more complicated, incessant passages. They’ve sailed above considerations solely based on the style and drawn out what ties good music of all sorts together via their work. They’ve proven that there’s something new to be done, with their flowing stream of sound that covers a wide array of musical styles and concepts, and it’s a welcome addition to the modern palette of experimental music. The band feels as though they’ve packed a lot into their work, really, and yet, instead of confronting the listener with an impenetrable wall of sound, their work picks up the listener and takes them along, welcoming them in.
Listen to the band below via Bandcamp.
Vacant Voices — “Fireflower”
Vacant Voices — a new band out of Seattle — have a remarkably exploratory take on a style of music that is itself already exploratory. As of late October 2018, they’ve only got one song out (and say they’ll have more in 2019), but it’s hardly the work of a band struggling to find its footing. Instead, the song — called “Fireflower” — charts a huge spot for the band. The feel honestly calls back to the name of the song itself. Where other post-rock bands with carefully unfolding instrumental tracks might take a more horizontal, spread out approach to their material, Vacant Voices’ work (at least exemplified in “Fireflower”) has more of an apparent inclination to reach out and or up. The track feels like the flames of a fire situated in the darkness, licking at that which envelops it.
There’s an important and striking sense of melody at play, elevating the band’s form to fresh heights. The perhaps familiar “rock n’roll” texture has been spread out, though, allowing the listener to carefully examine each of the elements — and even each of the notes — and perhaps even take in the whole work more fully. There’s a striking consciousness at play that deserves some attention.
Listen below via Spotify.