Thursday, December 10, 2009
Balmorhea prepares new full-length "Constellations" for Feb. 23 release on Western Vinyl
"...a sound that evokes imagery of brilliant landscapes and quiet pastoral scenes...sweeping instrumentals and sporadic yet haunting vocals." - NPR
Rob Lowe and Michael Muller, the songwriters and core duo of Austin's Balmorhea, will release their newest full-length, Constellations, on the Western Vinyl label Februarly 23, 2010. Closely following the release of the group's critically-acclaimed prior albums - All is Wild, All is Silent (2009) and Rivers Arms (2008) - Constellations further showcases the band's songwriting and attention to detail, establishing Balmorhea as a major force in contemporary American independent music.
Balmorhea's previous album All is Wild, All is Silent (2009) explored the freedom and isolation of settlers learning to live on an untamed frontier. It was an intensely physical album, dealing with the struggles of man on earth. By contrast, their new album, Constellations, shifts our focus to the cosmos and beyond, meditating solemnly on the mystical and metaphysical.
The disarming simplicity of the tracks on Constellations proves that Balmorhea doesn't need dense arrangements full of 180 degree turns to craft deeply affecting compositions. More than just self-imposed limitation, the scale of this collection of songs introduces a sense of intimacy and perspective through their skillful use of space and restraint.
For centuries humans have distilled order from the chaos of the night sky, turning a collection of bright dots into the framework for giants of myth and legend. Similarly, the tracks on Constellations serve as framework for our individual meditations on the wonders of time and space.
As the album captivates and inspires our imaginations by recreating the movements and colors of life, it often gives the listener the sense of being tossed about on the ocean, at the mercy of a reckless and merciless god. Ultimately we're left with the euphoric release experienced as one realizes, for the first time, that his fate relies more upon the teasing whims of the unknown than any design of his own.
Previous Press for Balmorhea:
"Balmorhea flashes brilliance only to highlight a slow-burning constancy that's at the core of one of the year's early slow wonders." – Pitchfork
"...they create minimalist, cinematic music that combines modern, experimental acoustic sounds with classical qualities." – NPR's Second Stage
"...each track plays out as a counselling session for the weary, dispensing affecting and emotionally rousing imagery like medication." – Drowned In Sound
"...swells of Stravinsky, the mercurial keyboard majesty of Debussy, the triad-based romanticism of Arvo Pärt, the clangorous sensuality of Keith Jarrett..." – Pitchfork
Posted: 12/10/2009 02:35:00 PM