Texas isn’t exactly famous for its post-rock, and yet the giant US state gave birth to a gem in Explosions in the Sky, the instrumental rock group due to take to the stage at Birmingham’s O2 Institute in October.
Having formed in Austin way back in 1999, Explosions in the Sky released How Strange, Innocence, their debut LP, in the first month of the new millennium, earning favourable reviews. Since then the band has followed it up with six new albums, including the 2016 release The Wilderness, which came out just last week. Referred to by The Guardian as a “beautifully understated epic”, and as a “quietly masterful, emotionally rich work” by Pitchfork, the album has reminded fans and critics alike of the incredibly nuanced composition that Explosions in the Sky have achieved in their style, with emotive, drenched guitars and crashing crescendos creating marked landscapes which are wide and open for exploration. Subtleties of instrumentation create atmospheres as complex in their detail as they are simple in their form, with deeply beautiful patterns of sound rising and falling in turn.
Believers in such mesmerising instrumentals will find themselves immersed in the band’s live shows this year, drawn in by the dramatically soaring guitars and the myriad of layers that enshrine each bar, swirling and fluttering like leaves at the start of a storm.
Explosions in the Sky will light up Birmingham on the 10th of October.
Words by Andrew Kemp
Photos courtesy of Explosions In The Sky