Album Review :
This Patch of Sky - Newly Risen, How Brightly You Shine
Band: This Patch of Sky
Title: Newly Risen, How Brightly You Shine
Label: Oxide Tones
Release Date: 03/15/12
Reviewer: Josh Hamm
- A Light In The Attic
- How He Loves//To Sink A Ship
- Newly Risen, How Brightly You Shine
- Cities Beneath
- With Morning Comes Hope
This Patch of Sky is a five piece post rock instrumental group from Oregon, and when you listen to their first EP The Immortal, The Invisible you can tell that it’s a lot different from most of the other post rock groups out there. If you’ve heard that EP, you’ll recall that it’s an edgier hard rock that would sound at home on a Thrice record. They’ve changed it up this time around.
Newly Risen, How Brightly You Shine is not as moody, coming across instead as a much mellower and melodic album. It’s a good thing too, because their goal for the album was to “create music that reflected their hearts, to turn music into more than music…to give people a sense of belonging, a hope, a connection.” And it succeeds. Their previous style of music wouldn’t have quite fit the bill.
I’m always a little wary when listening to any sort of purely instrumental music, as my favourite part of any album is virtually always either the vocals or the lyrics, and I have to be really impressed by the music keep it in my playlists. So I’m impressed when I find music like the songs on Newly Risen, How Brightly You Shine, which is able to convey a message and meaning without words and have enough depth and substance to sink my teeth into.
It starts off with “A Light In the Attic,” which is very reminiscent of the Sleep Design, and features a steady supply of comforting music that flows and builds up effortlessly. The song reaches a harder note near the end though, with pounding drums and vibrant guitars and even some distorted screamed vocals, which then softens out into “How He Loves/To Sink A Ship,” which has a thoughtful drum beat and careful, methodical, delay driven guitars. The percussion on the song is very well done, and together with the subtly effects driven guitars make the song one of my favourites. “Newly Risen” starts off with a slow melodic guitar intro which quickly opens up and crescendos and then dies down again, featuring synth and steady percussion before building up again; the whole song continues in the same pattern. It feels like a song made up of several similarly themed vignettes rather than one coherent song. Then things get a little more aggressive with “Cities Beneath” before ending out on a nine minute closing song, “With Morning Comes Hope.” It opens with bowed guitars and an ambient atmosphere, which builds to a clashing crescendo and then fades out slowly. It’s a truly great song, maybe not as good as “A Fire Through the Dark” on their first EP, but it excels at creating a musical atmosphere that describes exactly what it’s title says: hope.
Overall: What I enjoy about this release is how This Patch of Sky is able to form an original soundscape and lush melodic atmosphere which is uplifting and intriguing, without being as ethereal as Sigur Ros or overly dark and brooding. While they are guitar driven, they allow their other instruments to fill the sound out beautifully; the bass is subtle yet effective, the keyboard and synthesizer add a unique depth and the percussion especially steals the show at times. This is not an album to merely listen in the background, but rather to press play, close your eyes, and soak up the introspective music.
RIYL: The Sleep Design, Explosions In the Sky, This Will Destroy You, Everett
Get the album: Bandcamp/Noisetrade