Draws Creature Mask are a four piece math/post-rock outfit from central Scotland comprised of drummer Lee Haxton, guitarist Fraser Walpole and brothers Callum and Daniel Elks on vocals/guitar and bass respectively. Borrowing musical tricks from an endless list of influences the band write intricate and ambitious songs, creating a dense sound that evokes experimental and indie rock heroes such as Radiohead, Mogwai and The National. In the bands almost two years they have grown in a run of self-released singles from their sprawling, anxious debut 'Football Season is Over' through to this years upcoming release, the slow-burn epic 'Hibernal'.
'Hibernal' has been a centrepiece of the band's live set since their inception in July 2015. The song encompasses the groups musical idioms as found on previous singles and expands upon them with further studio experimentation and a greater attention to sonic detail. For the sessions the core band was bolstered by string arrangements and guest vocals, all of which were recorded and mixed in Glasgow by Lewis Glass at Glassworks Studio, the result being the band's most expansive and accomplished track to date.
BOG is a four-piece post-metal band from Vienna, Austria, founded by Tim Primbs as an emotional outlet to cope with several experiences with death. Narrative arcs follow the woven dynamics of the sound. Sonic leitmotifs, ambient layers, and authentic songwriting create an unmistakably unique sound.
Starting in 2011 when Johnstown, PA artist Jake Dryzal was only 12 years old, Blue Navy was conceived through his love of indie music and surrealism. Crafting fictional stories that dealt with relationship strife or dreamlike circumstances, Blue Navy released several demo EPs between 2011 and 2013. Jake took a hiatus from Blue Navy in 2014 to focus on his post-metal project, Pallor, and later returned to Blue Navy after the breakup with a girlfriend. Influenced by slowcore, dream pop, and shoegazing music, Jake released his debut album, "Mine" in early 2016 to critical acclaim. Another bout of unrequited love hit Jake in early 2017, resulting in the production of his newest album, "Ours," which was released that May.
"Ours" is Blue Navy's sophomore LP - another concept album that covers topics such as heartbreak, loss, and memories following the destruction of a meaningful relationship. Along with introspective, confessional lyrics, "Ours" contains balanced elements of stripped-down acoustic folk, as well as dense layers of lush, ethereal, and reverberated ambient soundscapes.
onj. is an instrumental post-rock band that has been playing in and around Asheville, NC for about 4 years now. The four members of onj. are Marklar Klepac and Joel Wolfe on guitar, bassist Sean McAusland, and drummer Dylan Webb. Their first EP, "Opposition," was released at the beginning of 2014.
Over the past 3 years, onj. have been working on material for the new album, "Alone." The album attempts to capture the various feelings of being left alone while dealing with depression, loss, and separation.
NAAL is the surrealist, drone/rock project of Chicago native Dave Mantel. Characterized by a sonic journey taken between more traditional instrumental post-rock, and the fringe elements of ambient, noise, drone, and field recordings, NAAL is a project that wanders freely between elements of all of those genres, while juxtaposing their individual elements to create a unique sonic palate.
Formed in 2013 with the release of the debut project titled Wilderlands, NAAL has released 4 EP's, with a debut full-length announced for a 2017 release. Each of the past three releases, 2014’s “Compass” and “Chaos Monsters,” and 2015’s “TIME” EP, charted as best-sellers on Bandcamp. Beyond his recordings, NAAL has begun to bring a live show audio/visual experience that focuses on the mellower side of the project. Long, texturally complex soundscapes are complimented by an ambient visual experience aimed at exploring dark, metaphysical and surrealist themes.
A703 is a slow, intricate walk through several years worth of dark, complicated emotional landscapes, compiled together to create a listening experience that will both relax and challenge the listener. The slow drones and complex textures give voice to both a deep sadness, and a deep hope. Of the new album, Mantel says, “There's an idea in Japanese that has captured me- 'mono no aware'- which is an awareness of the impermanence of everything. But, at the same time, not letting that overwhelm or immobilize you. It's a gentle sadness of things. But that idea of simple awareness is not where I want this story to end... That is the concept for the album.”
The first full length album from NAAL, A703’s soundscapes are charged with the weight of their author's own emotional darkness. This album is unlike NAAL's past releases in both the volume of work, and the compositional and instrumental restraint involved in the process. Leaving behind the more traditional post-rock vibe of the project's previous releases, A703 fully embraces the “drone” side of the so called “drone/rock” genre Mantel has coined.
The slow moving chord structures made up of layers of guitar and synthesizer textures, combined with bits of field recordings taken over the course of some of these aforementioned defining emotional moments, create ambient and droning atmospheres that are at once intricately complex and utterly benign. Although these 7 tracks are, for their author, ultimately about mortality and the fleetingness of the temporal, in the depth of the music, there seems to be a glimmer of light. In the end, Mantel says, the interpretation remains up to the listener, “That's the beautiful thing about making the kind of music I make. I can write something out of the deepest feelings of sadness and pain, and someone can listen to those same lines and feel hope in the middle of that. That's really all I want from this project. Yes, there is sadness, there is death. But I have to believe that there is also life.” A703 releases on June 30th, digitally everywhere and physically at NaalMusic.com
Ali Murray is an ethereal folk songwriter/musician from the cold isle of Lewis in the north of Scotland. He writes dark atmospheric folk music with lush sweeping dreamy soundscapes and Celtic-twinged instrumentation. His new album LAND OF EVERGONE strikes a balance that is intimate and soaring, peaceful and haunting, sad and quietly joyful, delicately reverberating with Murray's dreamy voice and guitar playing.
Orellana is a neo-classical/post-rock collective hailing from Bristol, UK. Their new album “52”, released in late December, brought in the new year with it’s explosive and intricate sound. The project’s music transcends genre definitions in order to focus on a broad, diverse concept that is more emotional than tangible. This particular release is full of rich and diverse arrangements, but it is also a powerful exercise in minimalism, one that showcases the strength of very few notes placed in the right spots. The simplicity of the arrangement is actually one of the strongest aspects of this entire release: there’s a palpable stillness created by the long, drone notes in the background, which almost makes you feel like the world is happening in slow motion. When the chords and notes change, it feels quite monumental due to the beautiful contrast between the stillness of the background textures and the expressive sound of the guitar-based melodies.