Sheffield post-rock quartet take the name Gilmore Trail from the trail in remote Alaska most renowned for seeing the Northern Lights from. With a name taken with such a close link to sublime nature, it’s unsurprising to find that their colossal instrumental music mimics that. Last week marked the release of the band’s second album, The Floating World, seemingly short at a mere eight tracks, but take into account the ten minute epics that allow the sound to ebb and flow as art taking its natural course, and you’ve got yourself a meaty masterpiece.
From the humble beginnings of crashing waves and piano lead Memories Of Redfern, the album unfolds itself with all the grace of a slow motion kingfisher catching prey; such stark and direct comparisons to wildlife would seem bizarre if it weren’t that the attention to detail and power of the music so exactly copies that crafted by mother nature.
With the epic sound that makes the music so overwhelming, there’s a hand in hand link with the fragility of the creation, as though at any moment the river of music could collapse in on itself to a sinkhole, or break apart to a waterfall. It’s this hint of unpredictability that has the gradually built sound and minute changes imploring you to continue listening.
At times the album is buzzing with optimism, such as the fizzle that starts off Waveless Shore, before the music dips and tails off, scarcely a hum of life in it, to a pit of melancholy. At around three and a half minutes, The Shallows is their most accessible piece for those who want to dip their toe in the vastness of the album, but twelve and a half minute Origins / Oceans holds far more to excite the ear.
The band’s level of control is awesome in the rawest sense of the word, clashing cymbals forming a backing for the intricate riffs and huge bass, whilst piano dances delicately across the foreground of the music. Absorbing and otherworldly, there’s not many who make music that demands respect subtly anymore, and Gilmore Trail have done just that. Bravo.
You can stream the full album below via BandCamp.