Gifts From Enola, the four-piece post-rock band from Harrisonburg, Virginia, has called it a day and are disbanding after completing an impressive seven year career. The band released a statement via their website explaining why they decided to hang up their instruments after a somewhat successful career. This comes as a surprise since they just recently came out with a new album A Healthy Fear about six months ago that was well received by most people and were still in the process of touring it. But as the explanation says, being a touring band is no easy task and there’s nothing glamorous about breaking the bank to be able to play a handful of shows.
After seven years, we’ve decided to put Gifts From Enola to sleep. For those who didn’t pick up on the subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) hints, we knew that A Healthy Fear would be the last thing we were going to do for a long while. The band slowly became a full-time occupation over the years, and once we all graduated college, we had the opportunity to hit the road non-stop and hang on to the music industry zipline by our fingertips the best we could. Despite all of the incredible experiences we had, the experiment left us vehicleless and in financial discomfort after a handful of years of grinding it out full-time. We decided to let our frustrations and any negativity out the best way we knew how; writing songs and recording an album. This eventually became that new one with the guillotine on it, A Healthy Fear. Since completing that record, we’ve transitioned from constantly living and breathing all things Gifts From Enola, to hopping into the “real world” and placing the band much further down on our respective priority lists. It’s caused a strange feeling, and one that’s similar to when you sense a long-distance relationship weakening over time. Instead of drawing it out and existing as a band that plays a couple of shows every year, we’d rather cut the cord now and go out with an album that we think does a good job at defining everything we wanted to do under the name Gifts From Enola.
Gifts From Enola was really an amazing band that showed so much promise and it’s sad to see them go. Their brand of post-rock was strongly riff-oriented and utilized the soft-loud approach reminiscent of bands like If These Trees Could Talk and Pelican. With their newest album A Healthy Fear, they experimented with a bit of post-hardcore that gave their sound a real punch, at times even sounding a bit like Heavy Blog favourites, East Of The Wall. In their impressive seven year career, they’ve come out with four full-length albums and two splits. We saw them take their music in various directions and with the latest album, further pushing the envelope. I, for one, welcomed the change. They had gotten a little more experimental and a lot heavier which almost felt like they were touching on a little bit of post-metal with songs like ‘The Benefits Of Failure’ and ‘Steady Diet’ on the new album. It’s hard to see them going out just when they had really come to grasp with a new heavier sound and saw the band reaching new heights and popularity. Well, c’est la vie.
As a final “gift” to their fans, they’ll be playing their last show at the Blue Nile, in their home town Harrisonburg, Virginia on June 8th. If you’re a fan or even a bit interested in the genres I’ve mentioned and live nearby, you should definitely not miss out on this. It might be the last time you see the band that has no doubt influenced a lot of people in the post-rock circles, I know I’ve been.