Old albums! What, exactly, are you supposed to do with them? Interestingly enough, the industry as a whole doesn't really answer this question because, I suspect, they never really ask it. Only the biggest bands end up doing anything with their old albums and they only do that when they reach big milestones. Even then, they do boring things with them and don't really contend with their legacy. Smaller bands do even less, often just reminiscing about these albums when asked about them in interviews. However, sometimes do more than just that, choosing to revisit, rework, and/or re-approach old albums.
Our dear friends at Outrun the Sunlight, one of our favorite American post-rock bands if you haven't been keeping up over the last few years, have decided to do just that by playing Terrapin, their excellent 2014 release, in full, back to back, live. This has added resonance for me personally, as Terrapin was the album that made me fall in love with the band and was one of my first introductions into the then nascent, now prolific, style of bass-forward, heavy, American post-rock. The other thing which makes this return special is how much water has flowed under the bridge since then, nearly a decade, especially for Outrun the Sunlight themselves. Roster changes and sonic changes have made Outrun the Sunlight into something different but still, of course, recognizably the same and that tension makes the return to this album all the more interesting.
Listen to the live version of "The Pace of Glaciers", one of my all time favorite tracks, as an example. While the track's scaffolding is the same, you can hear the new innovations around production, especially on the synth tones, that Outrun the Sunlight have been building over the years. The sound is much fuller, deeper, and more heavy hitting than it used to be. The entire track feels like it used to, with the same crispness and "attack" it always had, but now it also rumbles, undulates, and echoes much more than it did.
Of course, the live version is also accompanied by an expertly edited video courtesy of a collaboration between Outrun's Austin Peters and Audiotree engineer, Neil Strauch. The end result is incredibly well put together, sounds brilliant, and does not only justice to this excellent album but also innovates and elaborates on it. Oh, and here's another bonus thrown in just for you - I got the chance to reach out to Outrun the Sunlight as they were in rehearsal and ask them a few questions. They ended up simply recording their answers as a band, almost as if we were having a conversation face to face. It works very well with the instinctive, natural, and raw feeling of the live performance, adding another layer of impulsive and heartfelt humanity to the whole effort.
Check out the premiere of Terrapin's live rendition above and scroll down below to listen to Outrun the Sunlight chat about what the album means and has meant to them, what comes next, and a lot more besides.