A good way to tell if an album is going to be good as if you’ve heard whisperings of it for a while now but nothing clear about it has yet manifested. People are dropping hints here and there about how good it is but there’s no consensus as to what exactly is happening; this is, usually, because the album is nuanced and subtle, hard to pin down with one descriptor. Those who talk about it are left with emotions, ideas, and a whole lot of music ringing in their heads and they try to get some of that stuff out by intimating to others how the album makes them feel but not quite succeeding in doing a good job. This has been the case with Old Solar‘s SEE and my social networks; it seems as if I’ve been hearing about this album for ages even though it was only last week that I heard it for myself for the first time.
And boy let me tell you, my head is ringing. SEE is one of the most ambitious post-rock albums I’ve heard in a long time. It is both classically post-rock, with massive crescendos and stealthy buildups, but it’s also something entirely its own, with unexpected effects, tones, sounds, and turns of phrase that litter the album. It is indeed very nuanced; focused as it is around the seasons, it hits at places of melancholy, joy, rebirth, death, memory, the future, hope, and helplessness at the same time. At the same time, it’s wholly committed to just being a great album, filled with moving music.
All of this is probably best exemplified on the track we’re premiering today, “While the Earth Remains”. Sure, the strings, piano and samples at the end of it are a closing remark and a look backwards/forwards at the end of the album but they’re also incredibly effective pieces of music by themselves. So too the truly awe-inspiring crescendo which precedes them and its accompanying buildup; they call back to moments on the album but they’re also beasts of their own making, massive chords, sneaky delays, and gut wrenching drums sounding in their own time and in their own spaces. It’s hard to quite put the finger on it, if you can tell, as I’ve said so why don’t you just listen to it yourself? When you’re done, make sure to head on through to the Bandcamp page and pre-order it; it releases on January the 18th and this is one album you don’t want to be sleeping on.