The Wilderness

Along with Scotland’s Mogwai, Austin, Texas-based Explosions in the Sky is at the forefront of post-rock instrumentalism. Without vocals to identify with, these bands build and expand upon what becomes a distinguishable language of dynamics, of ebbs and flows of volume from still beauty to mercurial violence. Recent collaborations on soundtracks with film director David Gordon Green (Manglehorn, Prince Avalanche) have made The Wilderness an even more cinematic release than the band’s usual broad-skied excursions. “Disintegration Anxiety” is the first single, with a swirling kaleidoscope organ intro that abruptly gives way to distorted drums and a nagging nervous hook with muted strings delayed and skittering over the song’s body. The piano- and cello-laden “Losing the Light” finds the band reveling in delicateness, ambient guitar sagging along before giving way to closing chordal shards and well-placed piano notes that foretell its imminent demise. The Wilderness is the band capitalizing on its skill in dramatic sound, what’s loud rises in glacial majesty, and what’s quiet is reduced to insistent euphoric whispers.