Postrockstar 50-Two: A Spotify Playlist

Today we have a very special treat for our readers. James has finished work on a playlist entitled “50-Two”, which contains 100 tracks from 50 of his personal favorite Post-rock & Ambient artists. If you are unfamiliar with Spotify it is completely free to try. If you are familiar with it, simply click the banner at the top to start enjoying this excellent compilation featuring a well rounded selection of artists.

Moofer Monday: Appalaches – Mòn

Our Foofer forgot what day it was. So in an extremely clever play on words we present…ahem… Moofer Monday!

MooferMonday

a3629785216_2Appalaches, hailing from the french part of Canada, just released their latest album “Mon” and after I heard the opening ambience, I couldn’t send off an e-mail to them fast enough, I had to be the one to write about these guys. Last time we had a debut album this strong (Audrey Fall – “Mitau”), I regretted not jumping on it quickly.

The beginning to this album brings a most beautiful picture to mind, almost like Bob Ross in musical form. “We’re just going to paint some happy little mountains over here…” And before the song is even over, the piece just soars into the heavens with it’s climactic passages and blistering riffs. It’s borderline seduction, how they draw you in. It’s pretty hard to ignore this album after such an excellent introduction,

In their next piece “Nomse” it quickly becomes apparent that they never give any less than their all. Even with quiet guitars and keyboards, the bass and drums still announce their arrival in a most boisterous fashion. While I love how they commence the jam session, it wasn’t necessary to drop the piano completely, and I would’ve loved to hear it continue its participation in the soundscapes. Regardless, its structure is flawless, and it lets you down easy at the end, which really gives me a sense of forethought in their music.

“Pisðecourse” picks up where ‘Nomse’ left off, giving the album a genuine sense of flow. Unique guitar effects and more technical drumming really make this track stand out among the other crescendo-heavy tracks I just experienced. I almost feel like this track is a giant trying to wake from its slumber. It gets up, but then lazily falls back into its dreaming state. It repeats this a few times, but every time longer than the last, leading up to its crescendo in a pretty uncommon way. The best example of why these guys stand out, in my mind. Towards the end the guitar’s effects are so heavy, they almost sound a bit muddy, like you’re sacrificing sound quality for your effects. It’s a minute issue, but it really took me out of the music when I first listened to it.

“Nola” starts off with a sort of duet between the guitars. One plucking, one strumming, and random insertions of minor chords on top of the major chord arpeggio progression. Really beautiful. I wouldn’t have minded it the near 11-minute leviathan of a song were just the guitars going at it with each other. Absolutely dreamy. I was a bit sad when the rest of the band joined in, but my sadness quickly faded when I heard the bass with some effects which is something that doesn’t happen enough in post-rock. The music mellows out again, allowing the two guitars to dance again. Even if you don’t listen to the whole album, you should really check out “Nola”, at the very least. If you don’t like this, you won’t like the rest of the album. I’m not against long tracks by any means, I love Godspeed You! Black Emperor and progressive metal as much as the next guy, but it’s rare when I like the longest track the most when it comes to post-rock. Yet somehow, these guys pulled it off.

The final track, “Soleicare”, is like the dessert after the appetizer and three course meal. Every instrument is introduced in its own fashion, adding layers flawlessly. They seem to have a never-ending supply of guitar and bass effects, making for a deeper experience overall. I think the drumming sounds best here, he’s nailed that sweet spot between being showy and blending in with the music. So appropriate, yet grandiose. 
When the band goes all out, it’s nice to hear the effects remain, which is something I don’t often see with new bands. They aren’t trying to lure listeners in by sounding like Explosions in the Sky, they’re trying to sound like Appalaches. And the reach this goal with ease.

After my first time listening to this album from beginning to end, I took off my headphones, my ears wet from being cocooned inside my headphones for so long. I just sat there for a second and soaked everything in. The kitchen around me was humming its ambient tune. The fridge running, the coffeemaker clicking and creaking as the pot grows accustomed to its hot contents. My cat meowing at me in hopes of being picked up. And yet, it wasn’t enough. I couldn’t just sit there and listen to what was going on, it’s like my world was suddenly lacking after listening to such wonderful music. Despite my hot ears, I put my headphones back on and listened to it again from beginning to end. Even though I’d literally just heard it, I loved this album even more the second time around. I can’t say anything bad about this album even if I got paid to write these reviews. (Which I don’t.)

50% french, 50% canadian, but 100% worth checking out.

Let me know what you thought of the album on twitter (@Foofsies) or you can e-mail me at fooferfridays@gmail.com and let me know what you thought of the album.

     

Comrades – Safekeeper

Occasionally you find that one album that pierces through your listening comfort zone, making you question what you’ve been missing outside of the genres your ears tend to call home. For me that album is Comrades latest offering ‘Safekeeper’, released May 6th through Blood and Ink Records. ‘Safekeeper’ is a bright burst of clashing musical influence and styles that only an elite few have been able to bring together in such a beautifully focused effort as Comrades have.

I suppose to best summarize Comrades sound it would be best to break it down as if it were a recipe. Comrades start off with a nice thick post-rock base that will function to hold all the ingredients together. They’ve seasoned that base enough to give it a far more aggressive mainstream appeal, retaining post-rock presence but stripping it of all it’s drone and monotonous qualities. From there they add in some of the better elements of post-hardcore, you know, the catchy guitar hooks and not too overly harsh male vocals. With a really good recipe brewing so far, the band adds their final two signature ingredients; sensual female vocals that soothe the ears amidst all of the intensity and finally just a dash of prog-metal guitar noodling that just makes so much damn sense in the grand scheme of things that is ‘Safekeepers’.

“Endless” welcomes us with the vocal stylings of band member Laura amidst what is perceived to be mood-setting piano. That mood quickly goes to the way side as the track swiftly evolves with a post-hardcore presence. This wicked opening track encompasses everything Comrades is about: Vocal harmonizing, guitar noodling, harsh vocals and a strong build up followed by heavy wall of sound.’Roving’ offers stronger ties to the post-rock world as a heavy instrumental number, falling somewhere between the lines of Russian Circles and This Patch of Sky. “The Compass” returns to softer female vocals and darker-toned guitar driven melodies. This track is highlighted with a gang vocal finale that works well as the next track, “Pax” is a short departure that resets the ears palate.

“Calling Down Fire (To Keep Warm)” is a short yet rambunctious number that packs a strong punch, intertwining prog-metal noodling with what I perceive to be palm mutes, but I could be wrong. This is one of the more technically impressive efforts on the album and shouldn’t be overlooked for it’s short length. “Orphan Hymn” features another impressive meshing of softer female vocals with harsher post-hardcore vocals throughout the course of a progressively building track. Another short interlude with “Haven” helps set the table for “Severance”, a song spearheaded by dominant guitar work that creates a strong post-rock vibe. The album comes to a close with “The End of This Story and the Beginning of All the Others” which is the only track on the album to utilize samples. I really love the overtones and messages within the samples. It seems as though this is exactly what the album has been building to through the lyrics of previous songs as well as other track names (see: “Roving, The Compass, Haven). A strong finish to one of the best albums I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing this year.

My biggest issue with ‘Safekeeper is that it’s just too damn short! At nine tracks totaling just over 33 minutes, I sure do wish this album was about 12-20 minutes longer. Of course with this album being pretty close to masterpiece status, I would never question the amount of time or dedication the band put into ‘Safekeepers’. This album is especially impressive when you do some digging and listen to the band’s previous material. The first sore thumb that sticks out of the production values of their material on ReverbNation is nowhere near the quality found on ‘Safekeepers’, it’s literally night and day. The second thing you’ll likely realize is that the band completely revamped their sound for this album. Like I said earlier, this album is incredibly well focused. With such an enormous personality and presence, it goes without saying that this is a rock-solid foundation for the three piece to launch from. Make no mistake about it, this is an album that has cemented it’s place on my year end lists for sure.

   

tags: comrades punk independent music instrumental rock post-rock Richmond

New project ‘Release The Long Ships’ debut first song “Snow”

Kapiller Ferenc, who you may know as the mastermind behind the solo project Rain Catalogue, has released the first song entitled “Snow” from a new project called ‘Release The Long Ships’ . Ferenc, a friend of the site, has also graciously agreed to and begun working on the artwork for the upcoming Postrockstar site redesign which will be completed later this year. You can be sure that we’ll be keeping an eye on ‘Release The Long Ships’ as well as Rain Catalogue and keeping you up to date with all of the happenings from this Hungarian musician/artist.

Be sure to check out some of Kapiller Ferenc’s amazing artwork here

Inuit – Don’t Forget You’re Here Forever

a1491098777_2If you enjoy post-rock then you should like Inuit’s Don’t Forget You’re Here Forever. As you are here (at Postrockstar) reading this then I guess that box is ticked. So go forth and listen. I am struggling though. I cannot really get into this release and I just cannot put my finger on the reason why.

Let’s look into it. This release is a box ticker. Heavy, check. Ambient, check, Build ups, check. Reverb soaked, check. The Staybright is the perfect album opener. It kicks you in the nuts (metaphorically speaking, ladies) with some heavy tremolo based riffage, lays on some ambience, introduces some vocal chanting after a build-up and then drops some keys into the mix that makes the whole thing remind me of Maybeshewill. It is real strong and sets the scene for the rest of the album.

Okay, so I write reviews while I listen to the music in question and a review will chop and change as I listen more. I am starting to enjoy the album more as I give it time. So it is definitely a grower. It is a shame that music can be so disposable these days where people may stream an album or song; think it’s awful and just not bother with it. That is a whole other discussion though. I digress…

I think that Are You Taking Pictures Of My Stories? is probably my favourite track on the album. It is one of those that just seems to build and build right up to the end; moving from ambience and getting heavier and heavier as it goes. It is the also the only track, save one of the shorter interlude type tracks, that does not have any sort of vocal. I am pretty particular about vocals and I think these are the weak point of the release apart from those on I’m No Sun Expert and the guest vocals from Kenny Bates (Bianca) on Get That Face Off Your Face which has some great riffing which makes me think of And So I Watch You From Afar. This track is another highlight and delivers some good solid post-rock to your ears.

I think that is it, you know. It took me some time to get into this release because it is just a solid album. So nothing stood out straight away. Give it your time though and you’ll start to hear some of the subtle nuances that give me confidence that this band can build on what they have already done and really do something special. After numerous spins I am enjoying more and more. So definitely give it your time if you don’t click with it straight away.