This week’s dazzling pick is a captivating instrumental album from a US band called Balmorhea. They are a five piece from Austin in Texas, and you pronounce the STD-esque looking name bal-mor-ray.
All Is Wild, All Is Silent is their third album, and considering these guys only formed in 2006 and started releasing material in 2007, it’s safe to say Balmorhea, fronted by Rob Lowe (no, sadly not Sam from the West Wing) and Michael Muller, have been busy Lizzie’s.
The instruments on offer to our ears over these nine tracks are all my favourite strings – guitars of course, banjo, violin, cello and double bass, all backed up with some rather lovely, and at times quite hectic and crescendo building, piano and percussion.
For all the “ouch my heart” moments, where you could swear the violin strings were wrapping themselves tightly around your insides, there are swells within tracks that are moments of overwhelmingly pure joy. It’s brooding and it’s moody, as all experimental instrumental pop can be, but the overall sense that listening to it leaves you with is a decidedly hopeful one.
And you get that sense from the minute you press play on track one. 42 seconds into ‘Settler’, and it’s the type of song where you’re running through the rain in the cinematic story of your life making that pivotal, life changing decision. The type of song that makes you feel you can do anything and feel everything.
It’s momentous, it’s inspiring and it lifts you all the way up. But then, instead of wrenching you back down as the tune, ahem “settles” into itself, it very gently guides you back to where you started. And you feel grounded and thoughtful as the rest of the album caresses you with it’s three core melodies. Enchanting, like a pixie.
Taking my mini-mix cue from the album’s title All Is Wild, All Is Silent, and also from the delicious fact that Where The Wild Things Are opened on Thursday, I’m going a bit wild with these next three tunes myself. Till next week kids, have fun in the forest x
Jungle Drum – Emiliana Torrini
Eat your heart out Tarzan, this is one Jane you don’t want to mess with. I love this song because it makes me feel strong. And lion like.
Wild Eyed Boy – Birds Of Tokyo
Hot and lusty kisses in graffitied tunnels, grazes on cheekbones and the girl gets the skateboard. Win.
My Wife, Lost In The Wild – Beirut
Wild and lost in the inky blue night with long hair streaming behind you as you run through the shadows and try and find a glimmer of moonlight.