Artists of the week: Explosions in the Sky
Of the three major acts that defined post-rock in the 90s, Explosions in the Sky is, by far, the most commercially successful one, not only because they sold more records that Mogwai or Godspeed You! Black Emperor, but also due to the fact that their moody and dynamic instrumentals have been arguably the most pervasive of the whole indie rock spectrum, scoring a handful of motion pictures and being featured in dozens of other films, television series and video games. Cinematic might be the most overused word in musical journalism, but, when applied in their case, it’s not only accurate, but inevitable.
The quartet from Texas formed by drummer Chris Hrasky and guitarists Michael James, Munaf Rayani and Mark Smith cemented a reputation throughout the years of being extremely intense live performers. Solid albums such as 2001’s Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever, their 2004 soundtrack to the cult TV series Friday Night Lights and 2007’s All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone expanded their fanbase to a point that they managed to score a Top 20 Billboard entry with 2011’s Take Care, Take Care, Take Care.
Their recently released new LP The Wilderness may lack the game-changing elements of their first records, but it is a meticulously composed, performed and produced collection of emotionally rich tracks that proves that there is still a lot to be explored in the idiosyncratic sonic landscape they have built for themselves in the last two decades.
João Pedro da Costa is a web studies scholar and a music fan.