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  Choose a Bright Morning  
  Drowned in Sound Recordings  
Release Date:
Reviewed by:
  Brett Spaceman  

This is not for you.

If I say "God-like genius", "glacial", or "sonic cathedral" at any point, you should just turn the page. We donít deal in clichťs here.

Take a favourite moment from shoegazing. An album, a track, a note, a sound, -- a gorgeous bell-chime guitar. Take that moment, and shape it into a place. Then climb inside and explore everything until it envelops the senses. Forget tracks, or titles. There is only the album - one seamless, shifting aural landscape. No space or time, just an aching beauty called Choose a Bright Morning.

It is difficult to reference Swedish quartet Jeniferever (which is never bad). I suppose itís fair to say they occupy the space between Mogwai and Sigur Ros? (Even money says those bands get a mention in most write-ups.) Yet, it only tells you half a story. If you love those bands, sure, buy this record. If however youíre at saturation point ÖÖdonít even hesitate!

While the current slew of Mogspeed bands often excel on particular tracks, they can also struggle to make cohesive albums. Choose a Bright Morning is far more satisfying on a holistic level. The presence of real lyrics and vocals throughout the album elevates it above its peers. From the moment it begins with meandering guitar shimmer on From Across the Sea to its crescendo an hour later, the album explores themes of sad introspection and nostalgia. Partial immersion isnít an option.

Backwards effects and loops are all part of Post Rock's appeal. Yet however challenging and satisfying some records can be, their artificiality is often audible. Refreshing then that Choose a Bright Morning has a more acoustic, organic heart. It doesnít feel like listening to the studio. Notes fall like raindrops when you canít see the cloud. Somehow, the music is simply there. We visit it. Not the other way around. We fall into it, like a daydream.

Choose a Bright Morning is a marriage of dream pop and ambient jazz whose ancestry probably skips the Sigur/Mogwai generation in favour of bands such as Labradford and Bark Psychosis. High-hat cymbal work and hushed vocals punctuate intricate bursts of spangled, effect-laden guitar. Like Bark Psychosis (for whom the term "Post Rock" was created), this album is arguably less about rock's boundaries and more concerned with the spaces in-between.

Be warned though. It isnít all gentle prettiness. There are such moments of sublime, electrifying power that it can sometimes prove overwhelming. The melancholic brass at the end of Winter Nights, the chiming intro to the majestic Sound of Beating Wings and of course the cathartic Opposites Attract. Like standing on ice flows or waiting for a tidal wave to hit, suddenly most other music appears shallow by comparison.

Choose a Bright Morning revisits the Post Rock drawing-board and blows it sky high. Fucking incredible!

I just challenge anyone to listen to this and not cry.

Related Links:
  The Release date for The Sound of Beating Wings is, June 12th
Full UK tour begins May 15th. See links:

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