South America isn’t the first place the average post-rock listener is looking to for new discoveries, but anyone who happens to have read the two part deep-dive feature I did on the S.A. scene last year will be aware that there’s a lot more there than meets the eye (or ear). They also may be familiar with one of the bands covered in that piece, blien vesne, who originally hail from La Plata, Argentina. In a continent that finds its post-rock leaning largely into more rhythmic, math-influenced, and post-metal territories, blien vesne was one of the few bands putting forth sounds that more closely followed the path associated with American and European interpretations of the genre. Their 2013 LP Mientras seamos jovenes is a particularly inspired work, but after releasing the 2014 EP Kapar Kapar the band entered a state of indefinite hiatus, and haven’t released any music since. Until today, that is.
A major reason for the band’s silence is that a portion of the members moved to Australia. Trying to write and record separated by an ocean is a daunting task, not to mention the difficulties associated with being a small band comprised of members with day jobs. blien vesne have been actively communicating ideas with one another over these years, but it took until recently for everything to fall into place. This is not to say the members haven’t been active individually. Back in La Plata, associated acts include emya, who have released some stunning material that takes inspiration from bands like Envy, La Dispute, and Pianos Become The Teeth, as well as Para establecer un rio, who also straddle the line between post-rock and post-hardcore. On the Australian end of things, band member Francisco Sonur used his considerable talents as both a producer and a multi-instrumentalist to record and release the beautiful, moving ambient album International Border just about a year ago. All of these artists are well worth looking into.
Today, however, the spotlight is back on blien vesne. They have begun to work on new material, and the first finished product premieres here today in the form of “Palma de la India.” As an added treat, we get a video to go with it. It features a collection of home video footage of the band playing in a variety of contexts, which carries extra meaning since the opportunities to be together in the same space are very rare. The footage covering both Argentina and Australia nicely bridges the gap between the band members, solidifying the bonds still shared. The camaraderie is also evident in the song itself, and it seems that blien vesne hasn’t skipped a beat despite the six year gap between releases. The track covers all the requisite territories, moving back and forth between more subdued, gentle melodies and big, dramatic moments. You can certainly feel the intense emotion running through the song, as it is one that likely has more meaning for the band than many they’ve released previously. “Palma de la India” is kickstarting a new chapter for blien vesne, and they’ve shown up in a major way to make their re-introduction a memorable one.