Sometimes I feel that an EP, when done well,
is the most suitable vehicle for this type of music. Hazy,
tranquil, melancholy yet uplifting, instrumentals often do
not stand up to the examination of the long player. Many of
God Is An Astronaut's predecessors offered some of their very
best work on extended players. Cocteau
Twins, Slowdive, and Mogwai were all synonymous with
quality early EPs, arguably making their names across this
On A Moment of Stillness, we enjoy five tracks
of sufficiently varied music and no filler. Frozen Twilight sounds
exactly like its name. A melancholic builder that you know
the instant it begins, will pay off with a soaring climax.
The title track is both fragile and urgent, possibly the standout?
There's a real narrative arc at work belying its instrumental
nature. On conclusion we're given a taste of the burning intensity
of God Is An Astronaut the live band. Guitars switch from lullabies
to laser burns in the twinkling of an eye revealing just why
God Is An Astronaut are regarded as one of Ireland's most powerful
live acts. If this seems strange listening to the gentle beauty
of their records, you need only think of the band's closest
in the Sky and Mogwai, each of whom also
make pretty records yet blow your boots up your ass every time
It's no surprise to see a track entitled Elysian Fields.
From Homer, these were the final resting places of heroes;
also known as the undying lands. These Elysian Fields bears
close resemblance to an instrumental Shine on by House
Of Love. Paradise indeed! Yet the fact that these shores could
only be reached by sea voyage is in perfect suiting to the
oceanic nature of the music itself.
Perpetual spring then, lit by it's own stars? Certainly there's something meteorological at work here too. I can imagine a crystal clear dewdrop on a fresh bud. Yet equally I could be sipping iced tea on a hazy summer day, taking a rueful autumn walk through rust-red fallen leaves, or looking up at a star-filled, chill winter sky. Four seasons in one play! In fact, the strength of God Is An Astronaut lies in their refusal of definition. Their records are musical join-the-dots, the only difference being, you the listener get to decide what picture comes out.
What gives God Is An Astronaut an edge is the ease at which they have their
feet in several camps. The can be chill-out one moment and post-rock the next.
EMO or Eno, in fact this disc could as easily sit alongside Moby, Enya, or
Lamb as it could Sigur Ros or any of the other
artists mentioned earlier. And there's something all those groups have in common
- soundtracks! Nobody to my knowledge has hitherto said so, but the music of
this band is ideally suited to the moving image. Whatever it may be, advertising,
documentary, video, or film, God Is An Astronaut should perhaps consider finding
themselves a worthy director and set about making poetry for the eye as well
as the ear?