Imagine if band members could rotate between instrument positions, because each musician had a proficient grasp on each instrument involved? It would supply a degree of freedom and mutual musical understanding, something that most bands could only dream of. Spook The Horses, from Wellington, New Zealand, are such a band.
Perhaps it’s this multi-instrumentalism and virtuosity that explains the vast musical territory that is explored among the band’s three albums: while 2011’s debut album “Brighter” was defined by sweet post-rock crescendos, 2015’s “Rainmaker” was a much heavier affair that would appeal to fans of Cult Of Luna or Amenra. The band’s forthcoming “People Used To Live Here,” in quiet stark contrast to the aforementioned, sees the band turn the distortion knobs way down, to a mildly saturated crunch tone, at most.
“Writing this album gave us the ability to experiment with song ideas we felt weren’t appropriate on our previous albums,” Spook The Horses’ Zach Meech elaborates. The band’s most daring effort to date, “People Used to Live Here” explores the natural and immediate. Written and conceived in relative isolation over several grim Southern Hemisphere winters, Spook The Horses is defining their own sonic trademark with this album: an atmosphere of quiet desolation, raw and real, desperate and unsettling; the post-apocalyptic soundtrack to abandoned places, where people used to live, at one point in time, long ago.
“We deliberately isolated ourselves when writing this album to force us out of our comfort zones,” adds Callum Gay. “Most of the songs began as completely improvised pieces that we slowly fleshed and developed over time. We wanted to make sure that immediacy was captured and conveyed in a way we’d never done before. There’s much less between us and the listener this time around.”
In advance of its November 10th release, Treble is hosting the record’s opening track “Lurch,” delivered in cryptic video form, which you can view at this location, or just below in the player availalble. “The track itself is spacious and brooding, with psychedelic post-rock riffs, brushed drums, and a sense of heaviness that’s more implied than overt,” writes the esteemed blog. “It pairs well with the visual element of the video, which is slow-moving and ominous, with an ambience and quiet menace that’s reminiscent of David Lynch’s works. It’s a perfect way to usher in the spookiest time of year, albeit in a slow, eerie and disorienting way.”
The track listing for “People Used To Live Here” is:
2. Crude Shrines
3. Blessed Veins
4. Made Shapeless
5. Near Then, Far Now
7. We All Know Your Name
8. Following Trails
Check out “Lurch” here: