Apart is the flip side to Intill (Close), albums released on either end of the pandemic and the political divide. The world did not change suddenly as much as it did swiftly; even young people are looking back at their early lives and asking, “What happened?”
Feed Me To The Waves recorded their latest album while pondering the growing gaps not only between nations, but within nations and families. Their initial question was “How do we continue to smile while around us it feels like the world is spiraling?” The question is still valid, while the answer may be found in considering the alternative: letting the condition of the world become the condition of our soul. In this spirit, the Swedish quartet offers an album of great dynamic contrast, a comfortable haven for post-rock fans, especially as four of the eight tracks approach the ten-minute mark. Opener “Never Able” makes a wonderful first impression, first quiet, then loud, then pensive, with brass and bells.
One of the comforts in a crisis – in this case, multiple crises, stretching to the war in Ukraine – is that of nostalgia. As great new post-rock has become increasingly rare, hearing a solid new album such as this becomes a reminder that all is not lost. The slow journey of “It all lingers” serves as an emotional travel companion: it’s been hard, hasn’t it? While the pace never quickens, the viscosity increases. Will we have the stamina to endure this spiritual war? When the military drums of “About present tense” shift to cascades, we think, we might.
Can we smile when the world is cascading? Yes ~ if our imagination still works. And instrumental music, perhaps more than any other music, is built for the imagination. The fireworks of “Wither so Brightly” ~ even the capitalization of the last word ~ offer a mood to strive for: sonic hope. Mid-piece, the energy dips, but then it grows, like a revolution, like sea change, before receding quietly, having proven its point. And while “Triumph of Existing” seems to set the bar low, it’s still higher than the average global mood, a base level from which one may begin to grow. We need not feel guilty for smiling; our smile may be someone else’s salvation. (Richard Allen)