If you feel like drifting off down a mental highway that’s somehow also a gently rolling sea — where through some existential alchemy the trek moves from a car to a creaking boat before ending up on an isolated, overcast seashore — then here is an album for you. On their new record Adrift:Abyss, which is set for a Sept. 17 release from Post. Recordings, the ambitious, Texas-based post-rock group Driving Slow Motion have sculpted a captivatingly dreamy musical ride.
Get a first listen to the album in full below!
The music soars, yet there’s a richness within the textures that makes the sonic journey feel focused on personal emotions. Driving Slow Motion both present compellingly powerful crescendos and welcome observers into an entire world leading up to and around those crescendos, making the experience of the album immersive and even slightly fanciful, as though it’s telling a story — with listeners tasked to determine exactly where it ends up after each individual listen. (The album has no lyrics — but it does have atmosphere, and a lot of it.)
Although the path the record takes is sonically broad, each element also feels carefully crafted to shine with an understated yet nevertheless compelling sort of majesty. In other words, the feeling experienced upon listening to this release could be compared to looking out across an ominously expansive but nonetheless poignantly compelling expanse within the natural world. That feeling of a slowly spreading illumination — in either a physical or emotional sense — providing a sense of refreshing clarity: it leads the way here.
The mix feels comprehensively well-defined, letting every piece of the experience feel profound and — generally speaking, at least — certain. This sense of a certainty of direction extends across essentially the whole album, making the music feel subtly invigorating. Post-rock crescendos certainly feel often well-positioned to provide a solidly elevating emotional experience, and such an inwardly uplifting jolt definitely defines much of this album’s vibe.
Ultimately, although there is noted weight to some of the textures and an overlay of somber self-reflection at times, Adrift:Abyss is fairly peaceful. It’s not in-your-face or overwhelming (although such can of course be invigorating in other contexts!), and the music feels relatively unencumbered and unassuming. It’s not bustling to the point of suggesting a whole bunch of people milling around.
Even if in a physical sense you’re not alone, within the album’s world, it’s (pretty much) just you. Adrift:Abyss lands like a sudden push into an alternate mental plane, should such a thing exist. It’s focused, powerful — and inviting.