Post-rock/chamber pop group Balmorhea consits at its core of duo Rob Lowe and Michael Muller. This self-titled debut showed off a very young incarnation of a band interested in serene arrangements and plenty of supplementary orchestration, and while it was initially self-released by the band, their friends at Western Vinyl now offer it up as a first-time vinyl release.
Vinyl LP £14.95 WEST125LP
LP on Western Vinyl.
- Includes download code
CD £9.99 WEST125CD
CD on Western Vinyl.
Balmorhea self-titled debut album, originally recorded in 2006 and self-released in '07, finds its way back onto wax this week courtesy of Western Vinyl, who put out the four albums which have so far followed. I've always thought their name sounds like a particularly posh bowel complaint, but their music itself tends to be uniformly lovely, and this debut is no exception. Unhurried but lushly melodic, they drift through passages of twinkling piano and earnestly plucked guitar and subtle sound design with an assured confidence.
'En Route' is a standout, starting with a solitary fingerpicked guitar it slowly unfolds with some chocolate box piano and subtle cricket-chirping and erratic shuffling, the interplay between piano and guitar employing a post-rock-ish build-up as they both gradually increase their attack before everything but the chirping crickets cut out to make room for some echoey group-chanted vocals. The pieces where they allow the piano to take centre stage like opener 'Attesa' and 'If You Only Knew The Rain' are particularly beautiful too, sensitively delivered and stirringly emotional.
The latter is bright and lively with some kind of woodwind instrument whistling away towards the end as they hammer increasingly frantically towards a dissonant conclusion. If you're a fan of Balmorhea's understated neoclassical/post-rock sound but haven't yet managed to track down this debut, now's your chance to complete the set.
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