Album Reviews, Headlines

Review: Lights & Motion – Save Your Heart

art_550In the modern realm of post-rock complexities, there are artists whose art and music has undertaken a certain breadth to it. But as you step back and listen to it as a whole, you often realize it is more burden than anything else. A lot of it is very weighty and careens into self-indulgent territory. Explosions In The Sky can write music that is breathtaking, but sometimes their songs are too long, Godspeed You! Black Emperor is similar, where experimental becomes the focal point instead of the beauty, and Mogwai and Tortoise unfortunately, are just far too dreary and mathematical.

A few years ago, Jade Tree Records released music from Statistics, the musical moniker of Nebraska mainstay Denver Dalley. His brand of post-rock combined elements from Midwestern emo’s lineage, and escaped into the ethers of pop and the more aurally pleasing. His songs however, often felt unfinished.

So there must be middle ground somewhere, and Swedish multi-instrumentalist Christoffer Franzen may just be it. Under the name Lights & Motion, Franzen has been making beautifully soaring, instrumental post-rock akin to Statistics (and to some extent, Angels & Airwaves and 30 Seconds to Mars without the inflated rockstar ego), but with a little more grace, a finished veneer, and a stratosphere’s distance in emotional resonance.

There is beauty in music and then there is Save Your Heart, a record so glistening with the sounds of perfect soundtracks the world over that it should really be the sound of every successful spacewalk, moon landing, and the perfect dawn. We’ve thrown the word “epic” around on numerous occasions, but it is by far the one word that is most suitable for Save Your Heart as Franzen has crafted songs that shine with the vision of a brightly burning star. Songs like “Sparks” and “Ultraviolet” are a mixture of pretty guitars, midtempo percussions, and soaring instrumental harmonies, all wrapped in a welcoming glow.

“Snow” is the album’s longest excursion at 6.40 (a pop punk second compared to an Explosions song), and with its percussion-toned opening and graceful ascension, it is the album’s finest moment. Keyboard sprinkles and Franzen’s ability to craft music that is both reflective and optimistic is exemplified to near perfection.

The album is succinct, and spends less time in tangents than most other post-rock artists which is a refreshing change for the genre. “We Are Ghosts” erupts in a euphoric blaze of electronica-laced keys after painting a certain musical serenity, while “Atlas” brings home the beautiful melancholic grace Save Your Heart is so good at doing.  The album closes out with the title track, like an effective closing credits scroll, it is harmony in the end and a fitting bow to a memorable performance.

Few albums will come this close in capturing the imagination of hope and promise in musical form. Save Your Heart’s beauty and grace is one to savor.

[rating=5]

 

Lights & Motion’s Save Your Heart is out now on Deep Elm. Listen to a few songs below:

Advertisements
Standard
Sight & Sound

Lights & Motion premiere new song “Snow”

A few days ago we posted about Deep Elm recording artist Lights & Motion and the first two songs from his upcoming new album Save Your Heart. The anticipation for this post-rock epic continues to build as a third song from the album has been released.

Titled “Snow”, the song elaborates on the beautiful soundscapes painted by the first two tracks, giving the listener a continued sense of awe as you progress through the album. The more than 6+ minutes is just another piece of the Lights & Motion puzzle, one that will unfold in its final state when Save Your Heart is released November 12th.

Listen to and purchase the track below (all three songs play below, hit the ‘forward’ button to skip to the third track “Snow”).

Standard
Album Reviews, Music

Review: Athletics – Why Aren’t I Home?

Deep Elm Records have an amazing track record of consistency. While labels around them seem to adopt genres, change styles, break, fold and sell, this Charlotte-based enterprise has never once wavered and for years now, have released some of the most intriguing and captivating indie rock and emo records.

One of their latest acts, Athletics, paints a picture similar to that of Explosions In the Sky and The Appleseed Cast. Their brush is part melodic, part patient, and the end image is endlessly contemplative and at times explosive. It’s music for the senses without being a burden. From the opening salvo of the terrific title track, to the expansive and beautifully emotive “Jordan”, there is plenty to digest through Why Aren’t I Home?

It’s textured from instrumental soundscapes (in “Speaking For Everyone”) and temperamental indie rock (“Lullaby”) to Midwestern emo (the closing “The Cost of Living”) and is every bit as warming as early records from The Appleseed Cast and Brandtson. Matter of factly, the latter’s 1999 album, The Fallen Star Collection, bears a striking musical and emotional resonance to Why I Aren’t Home?

Athletics have debuted with a refined sense of assurance, and the album is an amazing palette of post-rock beauty, indie rock cool and emo melancholia. They may call Asbury Park home, but their music traverses far past the Jersey state, over the oceans and into the stars. Dream a little. (Deep Elm)

[xrr rating=3.5/5]

AUDIO STREAM: Athletics – “Why Aren’t I Home?”
Athletics – “Why I Aren’t Home?”

Standard
Music

FREE MUSIC: Banquets, Goonies Never Say Die

A quick offering of free music for the weekend comes courtesy of punk rockers Banquets and Deep Elm’s post-rock act Goonies Never Say Die. Check out the details below and grab these great tunes quick because Lil Wayne just got out of jail and it’s probably going to be much sooner than later that he starts making more crappy music.

BANQUETS
The group are offering their EP Nothing is Fucked Here on a “name your price” scheme. You can grab it for free or, as you should, donate a great band some gas money. Grab the EP here. You can check out our review of their 7″ record here.

GOONIES NEVER SAY DIE
Deep Elm post-rock band Goonies Never Say Die are offering the first 500 visitors a free download of their track “Nothing Remains Forever Yet The Future Still Holds Hope” right here. Be sure to check out the track and then if you like, check out the full length.

Standard
Music

Deep Elm’s Athletics define mesmerizing post-rock

Deep Elm Records have an amazing track record of consistency. While labels around them seem to adopt genres, change styles, break, fold and sell, this Charlotte-based enterprise has never once wavered and for years now, have released some of the most intriguing and captivating indie rock and emo records.

One of their latest acts, Athletics, paints a picture similar to that of Explosions In the Sky and The Appleseed Cast. Their brush is part melodic, part patient, and the end image is endlessly contemplative and at times explosive. It’s music for the senses without being a burden.

The band’s debut Why Aren’t I Home? is an amazing palette of post-rock beauty, indie rock cool and emo melancholia. But don’t take our word for it, you can stream the title track below. They may call Asbury Park home, but their music traverses far past the Jersey state, past the oceans and into the stars.

Why Aren’t I Home? is available now via Deep Elm. You can grab your digital copy right here. Dream a little.

Audio stream:
http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/track=3945297758/size=venti/bgcol=FFFFFF/linkcol=4285BB//

Standard