MP3 At 3PM: Balmorhea

Classical experimentalists Balmorhea are incredibly adept at evoking immense feelings without falling prey to the tired idea that all instrumental music outside of film should follow the quiet/loud/quiet/louder script. No, over the course of the Austin band’s four records, its blend of Americana, ambient and classical textures have implicitly provided more than enough emotional resonance; a wall of distortion or the crash of a cymbal would somehow feel unbefitting of the band, however much these tactics work for Explosions In The Sky or This Will Destroy You. “Night Squall,” which appears on the band’s latest, Constellations, illuminates Balmorhea’s compositional abilities soundly: A finger-picked electric guitar line bleeds into a longing cello melody, each driving the song slowly as upright bass, picked violin and sparse percussion coolly fall in-and-out of its quiet movements. Lasting just more than three-and-a-half minutes, “Night Squall” alters itself minimally, revealing the confidence of a band whose chief composers, Rob Lowe and Michael Muller, concern themselves more with regal ends rather than trendy means. Not to be missed live, Balmorhea will be touring in September to support Constellations, which is out now on Western Vinyl. Also, if you’re interested in more Balmorhea reading, check-out our Q&A with Muller and read the diary the band kept exclusively for MAGNET while on tour in Europe this past spring. And here’s a bonus mp3 for “Bowsprit.”

“Night Squall” (download):

“Bowsprit” (download):