On their debut album Mirrors, the Phoenix, Arizona-based ambiance-infused post-rock group Still Motions sound like they have captured the music that reflects true moments of deeply set peace amidst a potential looming whirlwind of outside cacophonies. Those storms can rage on without the persistently focused peace of Mirrors feeling particularly upended. The album’s carefully built, shimmering melodies, which the band present in an extended post-rock style, essentially envelop the listener in a great experience of using music to define places of stillness in which further exploration can be undertaken.
Track one, called “An Epiphany,” features a mixture of softly bubbling ambiance, emotively extended violin parts, and brightly shimmering guitar textures that together build towards gently compelling, percussion-driven crescendos in which the music feels like it captures a moment when the sun makes it fully over the horizon. The music feels starkly beautiful in its unassuming yet compelling directness. The restrained yet thick-feeling guitar melodies, like those which open the second track, have a lot of warmth, which gives the music a rich emotional depth. Although the ambiance always looms, Still Motions also feature plenty of dynamic variety in their sound, including the wisps of wistful melody sprinkled throughout Mirrors‘ second track.
Still Motions have explained (in places like their bio on Spotify) that they wish to develop space for listeners to construct their own emotional journeys, and on Mirrors, they accomplish this aim quite poignantly. The music feels like an emotional platform; it’s definitely not just background or filler; rather, the sounds feel like a soundtrack to moments of poignant self-reflection and self-discovery. The crescendos, which feel very finely tuned and are accompanied by plenty of poignantly swaying melody, feel like they’re cracking open emotional doors, as if they’re a ticket, in a sense, to the smooth emotional experience suggested by the extended melodies. Sometimes, the melodies get pretty heavy, like towards the conclusion of track three, and those moments feel like triumph.
The title of the standout track “Through Doubt, Comes Clarity'” honestly feels very reflective of the way that the music actually feels. That track in particular is clearly beautiful thanks to the earnest violin melodies alongside the grounded yet upbeat melodic bursts. The gentle, repeating melodies of the compelling title track, which closes the album, feel like refreshing waves pushing against a shore.
Check out Mirrors below! The album’s artwork is by Flesh and Bone Design, and it was released via POST. Recordings.