Review Summary: There's great beauty in explosions
Regardless of the motive behind Deep Elm’s recent name your own price bonanza, it provided a welcome nudge to finally delve into the plethora of undiscovered but deserving acts that populate their dense catalogue. Looking beyond already venerated acts like The Appleseed Cast and Lights & Motion, the temptation to devour the discographies of alternative and post rock unknowns at little cost is simply too great an opportunity to ignore. Burrowing no deeper than the front page however, instant gratification can be found in the form of Deep Elm’s most recent release -- We Come From Exploding Stars
by Swedish four piece Moonlit Sailor. Now four albums into their career and having long since dropped the pretence of being an indie band, they've released their most consistently uplifting and satisfying album to date.
Evidently feeling more comfortable than ever in their purely post rock skin, We Come From Exploding Stars
sees Moonlit Sailor confidently deliver a thick slab of twinkling build ups and lush climaxes, with particular emphasis on striking a delicate balance between the two. The climaxes on offer never outstay their welcome, nor do they take too long to arrive, and once they have enjoyed their stay they softly and seamlessly recede to rejoin the gorgeous equilibrium which is struck throughout, highlighting many brilliant and accessible choruses along the way.
The pensive, graceful build up on opener “Minutes From Somewhere Else” gives way to rapid, intricate arpeggios and hi hat work, before eventually allowing the warm guitars to explode and take centre stage. This formula is repeated twice throughout the song; and the strong, recognisable chorus instantly forges familiarity with the listener, hinting that rather than deserting their indie sensibilities entirely, they've instead channelled them within a purely instrumental setting. Elsewhere, the buoyant reverb which dominates on “Skydiver” typifies Moonlit Sailor’s ability to build the convivial atmospheres which made their early work such a joy – and it’s a soundscape which reigns throughout. This joviality is evident in the bassline on “Paris;” which grabs onto the coattails of the lead guitar as it reaches for the sky, and in the playful, bright guitar work on both “From Gemini To Lynx” and “Sworn To Secrecy.” Most notably of all this beauty is evident on highlight “Dollar Underwater.” It builds rapidly with a surprising sense of urgency, plateauing and retreating only when the soaring lead guitar has taken the foreground and extended its reach as far as it can go.
Moonlit Sailor focus their sound more on the gorgeous and the lush than the powerful or stirring, and they achieve it through warm reverberation, their tendency to toy with major arpeggios, and their ability to plant huge choruses in amongst the swirling positivity. So dive right in to what Deep Elm has to offer – merely scratching the surface has never been more rewarding.