Praise be, after hearing my complaints about the paucity of quality releases in July, the post-rock gods have smiled favorably upon us and have brought us good fortune as the hellish days of summer (hopefully, please, have mercy on my pale self) slowly fade into the crisper and bountiful days of autumn. In fact, it’s possible that there were simply too many releases of note in August for us to actually cover properly. We can’t win, evidently. But no matter what you all win as we talk about some really fantastic music that’s worth sticking into your earholes. So let’s hop to it, shall we?
August sucks, OK? Even more than its slightly-less evil twin July, August is just a mess. Weather sucks all over and the oppressiveness of summer reaches its true heights. There are days where I almost feel like it’s always been summer and will always be summer, just sun and sun never-ending (and…
Each month, we always seem to come to the same conclusion when it comes to our Editors’ Picks column: Friday release days open the floodgates and unleash a seemingly endless stream of quality new music. But while some of our Editors and Contributors sit down gleefully each week to dive into this newly stocked treasure…
I guess we’ve hit the doldrums of summer for new music, though you certainly wouldn’t be able to tell that by a look at our most recent Editors’ Picks and Death’s Door columns, which were positively overflowing with good new material. So I’ll revise that: I guess we’ve hit the doldrums of summer for new post-rock. I’m not sure what it is, but July proved to be a struggle to find many releases of note, though what did manage to rise to the top was pretty exceptional. Slower times like these though offer a perfect opportunity to take a look back at some of the bands making waves in the scene in the past year or so and remember why they’re so great, as well as catch up on some things you missed the first time around. And there’s no better vehicle for that than the compilation, which is what makes the timing of the latest edition of one of the best post-rock/metal compilations around from our friends and merch partners at A Thousand Arms impeccable!
Since the release of their third studio album Barricades in 2015, New Haven, CT’s Wess Meets West have been on a consistent upward trajectory. An appearance on the highly-regarded Audiotree Live series in 2016 placed them squarely on many listeners’ radars. They have been further bolstered by placement in the Spotify Deep Focus playlist, as well as on programming such as NPR Morning Edition and ESPN’s X-Games. A mainstay in the New England music scene, they have often shared the stage with fellow rising post-rock act Pray For Sound, and also recently supported This Patch of Sky prior to that band’s appearance at dunk!usa this past October. It doesn’t hurt that their home base of New Haven features the highly-regarded venue The Outer Space, which consistently pulls in fantastic touring bands.
A few months ago, I received an email about a post-rock compilation. Naturally intrigued, I started to dig deeper. Apparently this compilation was focused on the idea of “global” music, featuring bands from all across the world. As I kept digging, I soon came across A Thousand Arms, the label behind the compilation but also a repository for merch and other album releases from some of my favorite bands including We Lost the Sea among others. Naturally, I was intrigued and I started speaking with C.J who manages the label alongside another partner. What exactly was the motivation for this compilation? What is A Thousand Arms exactly, if not a label in the traditional sense?
These questions led me to finally sending C.J. a few questions over email as an interview, to try and get some answers. His answers are posted below, unedited, and represent an interesting look into a part of the music industry fans might not always get a glimpse of. Read on for musings on post rock, post metal, global communities, live music and much, much more!
It’s been a while since we mentioned Boston instrumental post-rock group Pray For Sound here. Originally we told you to listen to their 2014 album Dreamer, which Eden complimented for its open, cinematic sounds calling to mind the likes of sleepmakeswaves, Explosions in the Sky, and plenty more. True to form, after telling you all to listen to that album over half a year after its release, we somehow managed to let these guys slip through our fingers again as they released their truly excellent follow-up Everything Is Beautiful last fall. Don’t ask us how it happened because we don’t have a good answer other than us being fools. Certainly don’t think it has anything to do with the quality of the album because Everything Is Beautiful is undoubtedly the most fully-realized and expansive record Pray For Sound have put out. It’s sweeping, cinematic post-rock at its finest that knows how and when to hit heavy and add plenty of interesting knots throughout while maintaining its general feel of open, pastoral beauty.
Man, time flies, doesn’t it? I honestly could have sworn it had only been maybe 3 months since I wrote up this post about the excellent blog post-engineering’s first ever Bandcamp compilation. That mammoth endeavor included over 4 hours of brilliant music covering a very wide variety of post-rock, post-metal, and other heavily post-influenced sounds. It introduced me to a ton of fantastic bands (one of which even wound up on my year-end list!). It’s in fact been half a year since that was released though, and now post-engineering is back with a brand new comp spanning a whopping 42 tracks over nearly five hours. And just like the last one, it’s 100% free!
I told you we’d be slowly bringing all our recurring columns back to life and here we are now. Post Rock Post is back! For the uninitiated, this is our little corner for paying tribute to this beloved genre, hopefully while sharing with you new bands and sounds. Let’s get…