Thursday, June 9, 2011

Album Review: Moonlit Sailor - Color In Stereo

It's really hard not to find something to love on any Moonlit Sailor album, whether you be an indie snob, a post-rock junkie, or just plain appreciative of oratory arts. The new record, Colors In Stereo, is hardly different. The sound the band creates on this album is very much a hearkening back to their indie rock roots, even more so than on So Close To Life; though, at the same time, the band strengthens the post-rock side of their sound with a powerfully-renewed vitality, with more energy and emotion poured into each song, resulting in something remarkable.

The opening tune on the record, "Kodac Moment", begins reminiscent of The Album Leaf's record In A Safe Place, with clean, reminiscing electric guitar over an acoustic, reverberating away, gently. Further on in, the acoustic begins to pick up, and as Adam Tornblad begins to beat on his cymbals, I am, if just for a second, reminded of Karen O and the Kids, with all the positive spirit in the buildup. The band then lapses into some Explosions in the Sky riffing, with the energy level in the moment just soaring in the stratosphere, creating a wondrous moment that hung in the air minutes after it faded. Absolutely stunning.

The eighth song, "Weekday Escape", begins with a lone, yearning electric guitar, playing some plaintive chords, almost longing for something more. Thirty seconds in, the bass drum pounds away, a heavier electric starts jamming, and the tempo picks up, creating a sheer force behind that's almost intoxicating with power, sweeping the listener away. As the song tones down, a more ruminative bridge picks up, as the beginning electric gently weeps sorrowful melodies with all the reverb anyone could ever want. In ascension to the last hoorah of the song, Tornblad begins to slam away at that poor, abused snare drum as Oscar Gullbrandsen and Joakim Wiik sing soulful harmonies to each other on their guitars. Finally, the powerful lick repeats for the last time, and it fades away on a sweetly bitter minor chord.

This was a truly fantastic album. From start to finish, it leaked auditory aesthetics in the same fashion as any solid Sigur Ros or Mogwai album, easily. However, it also contained the energy comparable to a Broken Social Scene or Explosions in the Sky album, which makes a listen that much more amazing. Despite being a fairly-new band in post-rock, Moonlit Sailor has a very clear idea of the message they want to send, and accomplish something beautiful with unerring skill.

You can both stream and pick up the album (in ANY FORMAT) here.

Track Listing:

1) Kodac Moment
2) Colors In Stereo
3) May Day
4) Summer Solstice
5) Freeze Frame Vision
6) Vacant Library
7) Singularity
8) Weekday Escape
9) Clarity
10) Berwick Upon Tweed

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