As it happened to many others, Kyle Wright lost his job in the middle of the pandemic. After graduating college, he had to work as an Uber driver to make ends meet. However, he never stopped dreaming about a better future. Just one year earlier, he had started a solo musical project called Away From The Earth, inspired by his time as a guitar player during worship events and on local bands around Memphis. The events during 2020 motivated him to compose and self-record an EP he named Paint With Grey, See In Color that reflected what he was feeling at the time. Kyle defines AFTE’s music style as “somewhere between post-rock energy and ambient vibes”. I couldn’t agree more with him.
The EP is really good but I fell in love with its first track: The Secret Is To Begin, which is simply mesmerizing. Kyle says that it was based on the sound made by “taping bubble wrap to a fan and laying it over the strings of an electric guitar”, which I would never have guessed on my own given such a beautiful piece of #postrock music. The bottom line is that it is a spellbinding song that you will want to inject into your veins. Listen to it at your own peril.
La Strada Per I Vecchi Sogni, which I think means The Road To Old Dreams, is my favorite track off Somewhere Else, the new album from one of the best post-rock acts out there: The Absolute End Of The World. As seems to be the norm within the genre, TAEOTW is a solo act and, as the name of this song suggests, the person behind it, musician Luca Maugeri, is from Italy. He started out in 2011 and has a knack for creating beautiful compositions that can transport you anywhere. He also records, produces and distributes his music himself.
La Strada Per I Vecchi Sogni is a euphoric yet melancholic soundscape that feels like drifting through the air over the Mediterranean Sea. The song seems simple and effortlessly even though actually it is not. I truly think that one of the hardest things to do is to make the complicated seem straightforward and that is what separates virtuosos from truly special composers. This song proves that Luca Maugeri, The Absolute End Of The World, is one of them. Enjoy.
Hopefully, by now, you are familiar with the work of The 93 after we featured them here back in June. I hadn’t been in contact with them before writing that entry but since that entry was published, I’ve got to know Sylvester (one of the two brothers who form this awesome duo) quite a bit and I can say he is one of the kindest and coolest person I have met (as well as one of the most active supporters of T.A.M!). This has allowed me, in some way, to be part of the process behind the release of their new EP, Space, which got out across all platforms in the last 2 days. They worked incredibly hard to get everything ready on time, from composing and making arrangements, to producing the songs, all of this while also taking care of their day jobs/occupations.
Now, something you have to understand about these two brothers is that they aren’t doing this for fame or money, but pure love of music. Their main goal is actually finding people who can connect with them, using music as a language. And that brings me to Space, inspired by their passion for sci-fi movies about space travel. I had an opportunity to listen to the whole EP before it was mastered and I can tell you that even then, the whole record -which consists on five tracks, an intro and an outro- sounded amazing. The 93 tried hard to make it sound as close to audiophile-grade as possible and you can certainly notice it. I simply cannot get enough of the guitar riffs on these songs.
We are familiar already with one of the tracks in this EP, 03, as it is the one featured here before. What I didn’t know then was that the theme of this song was mysticism in the future through sound. Even cooler, however, was what inspired the Intro and Outro, which was basically what you would feel if you were travelling in a space ship, looked out the window and saw a nebula for the first time. 12 is a great track about the current state of the world (2020, hi!) and how we should focus more on peace and prosperity. I was close to featuring this track today but, in the end, I opted for 09, because, quite simply, it is my favorite track in the EP.
From the intro that would make Tom DeLonge jealous for not coming up with it himself for Angels & Airwaves, to the surreal vocals and atmospheric soundscape of the track; everything in this song is flawless. Written as a letter to our architect (or God), The 93 meant to express with it their fears and doubts while respecting said architect. I assure you, you will want to put this song, and the whole album, on repeat.
These two brothers came from a small village in Poland to the UK a few years ago chasing the dream to do music, as they believed they had something to say. I personally think the whole world got lucky because of that. Don’t believe me, just give them a chance.
Regiments is a post-rock/orchestral musical project and, you guessed it, another one-man show (I’m starting to believe all cinematic rock acts are like that). Founded in 2019 by New Jersey-based Peter Cipparulo after falling in love with bands such as Explosions In The Sky, Regiments‘ goal is to create something interesting that could also evoke emotions. Well, I think it’s safe for Peter to say: “mission accomplished!”.
Beginnings is the name of Peter’s debut album under the Regiments moniker, and also its title track. It is a beautifully orchestrated song that uplifts your spirit and results in an emotive soundscape. I’ll just keep it short because there’s really no much else I can say here. Listen to Regiments‘ work, you won’t regret it, and you can start with Beginnings ,below.
There are plenty of musicians out there who have been studying and playing music for decades and can play and compose the most challenging pieces, which usually sound every bit as complicated as they are supposed to be. I dislike that type of music. I think the true musical geniuses, like The Beatles, are those who are able to make even intricate compositions sound simple. Do you know what’s hard? Making music that sounds beautiful and original using the same four chords everybody have been using for ages. Yet, it happens from time to time, and when it does, you wonder why no one was able to come up with that idea before. Well, that’s because it isn’t easy.
All this preamble is just to say that I think David Walters, the man behind The Echelon Effect, got that talent. His songs, which dance on the border between ambient music and cinematic/post rock, are beautiful yet sound incredibly simple, until you start noticing all the different layers and textures revealing just a wonderful entanglement. The Echelon Effect started in 2009 and I fell in love with its 2019 track, Goodbye My Friend (a really emotional song despite having no lyrics). Now, David is back with a new single, Your Memory Feels Like Home To Me, that is just as good. What could be a better song to “chillax” to on a Sunday afternoon?
I”m always amazed by the amount of talented musicians that are out there just waiting for an opportunity to be heard. Here we have another example of that with Joey Westerlund, a multi-instrumentalist from Portland, Oregon, who is the person behind Darkfield. The music he creates as Darkfield is catalogued as post rock, with some songs leaning on the heavier side and others, like A New Beginning, on the mellower one. All of them, however, are definitely cinematic.
In fact, A New Beginning –which is part of Darkfield’s second EP, Carry Us Away, released in June– certainly feels like the score of an epic movie about space travel. At the very least, this beautiful track could be the perfect score for this Sunday afternoon. And you can enjoy it here:
From Spain to the world, Floating In Space is yet another great cinematic rock band in Deep Elm Records‘ lineup, which includes Lights & Motion and U137. And just as those bands, Floating In Space is really the one-man show of multi-instrumentalist Ruben Caballero, which is frankly incredible. Earlier this year, the “band” released its third full-length album: A New Dawn, which is a great collection of emotional soundscapes, such as Eclipse, the epilogue of the record.
Eclipse is a beautiful song that evokes new beginnings, featuring a magical clarinet that sets it apart from other cinematic songs. It is really a beautiful track and album. Enjoy!
I think Tom DeLonge is the type of person who gets easily bored by routine and repetition. One of the reasons he got into arguments with Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker, was that he wanted to experiment with a more “atmospheric” sound while his friends wanted to keep doing what had been successful for them so far. The bad news is that this is what eventually caused him to leave Blink-182, but –luckily for us– that is also what prompted him to form Angels & Airwaves (stylized AVA). The group is basically a cinematic rock band with a punk-rock flavour, and there is nothing wrong with that.
AVA had been relatively quiet since 2017, partly because DeLonge had been busy looking for UFOs (for real, he co-founded this company), but they are now back on track to drop a new album soon, having released three new singles already since December. All That’s Left is Love is the latest one of them and is also the one that resembles the most the band’s previous work (this is not a complaint, I liked the other two singles as well, especially Rebel Girl). All the proceeds the band makes from this single will be donated to the charity Feeding America to help with the economic impact of COVID-19.
All in all, it is a great song from one of the most curious minds in the music business today.
I love listening to cinematic rock –also known as post-rock, although I dislike that name– when I need to focus or relax. Something about the atmospheric sounds and the different acoustic textures that cinematic rock artists often use elicit joyful yet peaceful emotions in me. Unfortunately, it is not a massively popular genre yet, so the number of artists creating this kind of music is still somewhat small (and the best ones all seem to be signed by Deep Elm Records), but the good news is that this seems to be changing with a number of new “post-rock” bands that have been popping up lately.
The 93 is one such band. Based in Cardiff, the group is formed by two talented brothers from Poland and started in 2017. I discovered them on Instagram when they liked one of my posts and started following me (I love to discover new music that I like this way). They got some samples of their songs on their profile there that got me interested and then I listened to their EPs, which are available on most streaming platforms. They say in their official website that they were originally rooted in punk-rock and you can definitely sense some Angels & Airwaves influence in their songs, which can never be bad. 03 is their latest single, which was released earlier this year, and it encapsulates perfectly the gorgeous kind of music they make.
There is no video available yet but you can listen to this song in the playlists below. Give this band a chance. You won’t regret it.
U137 was a “cinematic post-rock” duo from Sweeden formed by Adam Tornbland and Oscar Gullbrandsen in 2013. Unfortunately, Adam passed away at age 27 in 2017 (and I strongly urge you to listen to the beautiful “Adam Forever”, which Oscar released as a tribute to him), so nowadays Oscar is the sole member of U137.
Back in April this year, Oscar released U137‘s latest single, Have Hope, which he wrote as a message of optimism during these uncertain times. The song has the rich textures and layers for which U137 is known for within the genre enthusiasts and makes you want to hear it again and again. As other U137 songs, it evokes feelings of euphoria and has a calming effect. I find this kind of music ideal to listen to while I work or have to focus on something. I guess the best adjective for Have Hope is, quite simply, beautiful.