Time Apart From Others — the striking new full-length record from Seattle’s simmering post-metal project Galaxy Magnolia — unfurls a subtly desperate-sounding journey through a sometimes blistering haze, as though exhaustedly reaching through an increasingly disorienting fog in search of some kind of stability but finding nothing.
Get a first listen to the album below! The record releases April 9 via City of Animals.
Time Apart From Others feels like a sonic meditation on a kind of tiring anxiety, like a soundtrack for rushing headfirst towards an uncertain horizon in anticipation of some sign of promise before discovering that the enticing other side is the same as what came before. The music is subtly dramatic, but it’s also very breathable, outlining a sense of personal contemplation for its pensive journey, like a solitary woodland walk.
The sound is full, and some moments prove quite catchy, but the tones remain dour and the mid-range to slower pace focuses this energy on rather isolated emotional points. It’s not particularly unwieldy — instead, the music solidly builds, extending that uneasy tumult throughout much of its runtime. Although “Someone, I Tell You…” ends with a lushly forceful crescendo, the songs often seem infused with somberly middle-of-the-road tension, like suddenly realizing the expansiveness of a (literal or metaphorical) storm cloud and resigning yourself to pressing urgently onward.
Across the nicely dynamic Time Apart From Others, tones sometimes grow quite harsh, with particularly hard-hitting moments on the third track, “A Gate Before Them,” which features rhythms that rev up into a grating haze. Meanwhile, “Tartaros” and “Will Remember Us” remain forceful but feel noticeably meditative, with heaving rhythms and gentler textures in the mix.
There’s not really any point where Time Apart From Others arrives at a sense of conclusive catharsis, although the ambiance-oriented closing track is pretty powerful. Overall, the moving album reflects and focuses on a journey of grappling with a weighty mental cloud that feels formidable yet immensely personal, like a private burden. It’s a portrait of surging longing, and instead of hitting a point of bliss, it stays downtrodden. It’s not entirely sad, though — there’s real forward-moving gusto in the sound, and the record ultimately feels rather entrancing.
“Time Apart from Others is the second release from the Seattle, WA-based musician Galaxy Magnolia,” as summarized in a statement by the artist. “One of nine projects by composer Benjamin Hopkins, Galaxy Magnolia channels and blends the broad spectrum of instrumental music he grew up listening to, resulting in fast-paced, soundscape oriented post-metal. As opposed to the more jovial sounds from the debut album, Time Apart from Others takes on a more melancholic and forlorn tone. Written during a time of emotional duress and isolation, it seeks to highlight the emotional intensity that can occur from prolonged periods of loneliness. This is not to say it is a sad or somber album, but one of self-reflection and acceptance of everyone’s inevitable fates.”
Pre-order the record at this link.