For the last couple of years Monday has been a locked-in work from home day for me. Aside from resolving a child care issue it also helps the start of the working week feel a little less of a kick in the nads.
It also means that along with access to good coffee, I have the opportunity to indulge in a post-rock soundtrack for my working day without the usual (‘it’s been ten minutes, how is this the same song?’ or ‘has it even started yet?’) commentary or need to stick headphones on.
For the uninitiated, the term itself came from a discussion of Talk Talk and Bark Psychosis – both bands that helped shape the genre from an early point. I’ll borrow from a couple of definitions here to explain it (dancing about architecture springs to mind at this point) as a “form of experimental rock characterised by a focus on exploring textures and timbre over traditional rock song structures, chords, or riffs” performed by a group of musicians leaning on the traditional ‘rock’ instruments / lineup: two guitars, a bass, drums, keys etc and, occasionally, vocals but applied to “nontraditional rhythms, melodies, and chord progressions.”
There’s a lot of beard-stroking.
Of the many things I love about it is the sheer scope and variety found within what can so easily be perceived as a narrow genre (with offshoots into math-rock, post-metal) and the universality of it – as occasionally pointed at in my Out of Europe series.
Anyway, without going too deep into a history or explanation of, I thought this a good moment to drop some of what I’ve been enjoying today:
Mogwai – The Sun Smells Too Loud
Mogwai, from Glasgow Scotland, are one of the titans of the genre. They got in early in ’97 and have been consistently belting out great albums (and soundtracks) since. The Hawk Is Howling is one of my favourite Mogwai albums – it’s their sixth – and recently added to my record shelves completing their discography on wax.
Explosions In The Sky – Logic of a Dream
Texans EITS are another pillar of the genre who have currently got their fans in a bit of worry: having ditched all other content on their social channels and announcing ‘The End’ Tour without any explanation as to what ‘The End’ is – curtains for the band or new album? We all hope for the latter – it’s been some time since The Wilderness – but touring and making money from music is becoming increasingly hard if your name isn’t Taylor Swift these days.
Pray for Sound – Julia
A band familiar to at least one reader – ‘Julia’ and Waves hits all the right spots.
Astodan – Sagdid
Astodan hail from Belgium. They’ve added a vocalist to their lineup recently but I’ve yet to check that out as I’m still stuck spinning their 2018 album Ameretat – few bands manage that dynamic of melodic, piano-driven calm to pulverising FUCK YES and back as brilliantly as they do across the album (or even one five minute song).