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Friday, September 04, 2015

Moonlit Sailor -- Colors in Stereo

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8/10

Moonlit Sailor is an instrumental rock band from Sweden. They write positive, victorious-sounding songs often featuring cleanly picked, shiny-sounding electric guitar lines and a driving rhythm section. They released a debut EP in 2008 that featured all their best qualities, and added a little bit of conflict into the middle of that recording to give it an emotional trajectory, and a fine payoff at the end. They followed that EP with a debut full-length that kept doing cool, rousing things, but left out the conflict, resulting in a pleasant album with nothing at stake. Colors in Stereo is Moonlit Sailor's second full length. While it also does not contain much conflict, and ends with a song that could have fit just as well anywhere else on the album, Colors in Stereo is a fine listening experience, and a step above their previous LP. This is because the band have trimmed all the fat from the previous album's songs, which averaged greater than a full-minute more in length than the songs you'll find on Colors in Stereo. This is also because the music sounds even more hopeful than the band's previous work, with the title track being perhaps the most optimistic music I have ever heard, instrumental, or not.

The songs also feature a little more variation, which is nice. This really is a very underrated band. Due to the sort of single-focused nature of their music (sounding positive, no conflict), it's hard to put their work as a whole in the top pantheon of instrumental rock music, but their best songs are incredible. They give you what you want immediately. If you think bands like Explosions in the Sky take too long to "get to the good part," Moonlit Sailor is for you, though I would argue that the parts that lead to "the good part," the conflicts, make those good parts cathartic and longer lasting. Still...there's something to be said for what Moonlit Sailor is capable of. There's a reason they've taken up a full week of The Nicsperiment's posts. This is admirable music.
In these dark days of madness (I don't know, maybe it's just me and everything is actually rosy), somebody's gotta remind the rest of us (or just me) that everything is going to be alright.

2011 Deep Elm
1. Kodac Moment 3:33
2. Colors in Stereo 3:39
3. May Day 5:15
4. Summer Solstice 4:49
5. Freeze Frame Vision 4:11
6. Vacant Library 4:18
7. Singularity 3:44
8. Weekday Escape 4:55
9. Clarity 3:43
10. Berwick Upon Tweed 3:59

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