September 19, 2014

Balmorhea 2007 Debut Reissued On Vinyl

Austin ensemble Balmorhea announces limited edition re-issue of their 2007 debut LP and new 7″, both out 10/14 on Western Vinyl

“…gorgeous, dynamic, and emotive, a bit like Sigur Rós with an interest in understatement. … Balmorhea flashes brilliance only to highlight a slow-burning constancy that’s at the core of one of the year’s early slow wonders” – PITCHFORK

“…listening will unravel hidden seams of loveliness. …this work will reveal its shimmering tributaries that break from the main body of water like precious secrets, stretching for the sky.” – BBC

“It is an exemplary experiment in restraint, lush with a slow-burning, wordless, and ambient Americana that manages to captivate while avoiding the histrionics of its post-rock forebears.” – THE NEW YORKER

Listen to a new, re-recorded version of “Attesa” paired with Nils Frahm’s reworking of the song at Paste

For the past eight years the duo of Rob Lowe and Michael Muller have nurtured and refined their creative partnership as the core members of the band Balmorhea. Though their first album on Western Vinyl Rivers Arms (2008) garnered some remarkable press, their self-titled debut, recorded in 2006 and released in 2007 best captures the duo’s unique magic as it first blossomed. With no label, distributor, manager, publicist, or booking agent the duo quietly self-released their first recordings and started playing live shows.

For these two Texans the release of their self-titled album was the beginning of a new trajectory in their lives. They were young enough that their prefrontal cortexes were still developing, but old enough to tap into the ancient stories that coursed through their veins. Though crudely recorded at home, those early songs display all of the key charac- teristics and emotional scope that continue to define the duo’s sound. Now, seven years later Western Vinyl is honored to have the opportunity reissue the band’s self-titled album, and make it available on vinyl for the first time ever.

In honor of this release, the original Balmorhea core duo of Rob Lowe and Michael Muller have announced two exclusive one-off US shows performing a full set of music based on their early compositions, with special projections by UK artist Peter Liversidge.

October 24
Central Presbyterian Church
Austin, Texas
w/ Aisha Burns

October 28
The Green Building
Brooklyn, New York
w/ Christopher Tignor

Balmorhea re-issue cover art
• Limited (1000) 180g black vinyl pressing featuring gold-foil packaging and download card
• Digital release featuring 2014 version of “Attesa” and a rework by Nils Frahm.

In preparation for this special reissue, the audio was lovingly remastered, drawing out even more of the nuances…magnifying the sounds of Muller and Lowe’s fingers on the instruments, and teasing out the textures that set these recordings apart from the rest of their catalog. Simple and sincere, these songs and ambient sounds the duo captured in these recordings are strangely inviting. Throughout the album the distant sounds of Texas grackles, the warm summer rain, the steady rhythm of crickets chirping, and creaking wooden stools, all seeping in to cradle the notes in a restrained din of primordial wonder.

“It’s hard to imagine Western Vinyl without Balmorhea. After our fateful meeting in 2007, we forged a deep and lasting relationship we’re all grateful for. We met at an Austin performance on the eve of their first US tour in support of their recently self-released debut album. Their show that night was one of the most powerful performances I’d ever seen, and as I looked around the room, it was apparent that I wasn’t alone. With the help of a cellist the group briefly transformed the dingy lounge into a vibrant pulsing cell. I had experienced deeply moving shows before, but the ecstatic emotions they conjured were new to me. Calling it electrifying, might sound cliché, but as the hair on my arms and legs stood at attention, my eyes squinted a bit with concentration, and my head cocked to the right, the electricity that passed over me felt very real. Over the next few years I had the pleasure of experiencing dozens of Balmorhea shows, each with a slightly different story to tell.”
– Brian Sampson, Western Vinyl

Listen to “Heir I” from forthcoming 7″ at The Atlantic

Heir 7″ cover art
• 2 new full-band songs
• Remixes by Orcas, Ben Aqua and Matthewdavid as part of the digital release

In conjunction with the reissue, Balmorhea is happy to present two new songs on a limited edition 7″ record titled HEIR. With the songs created for the 7”, the band brings everything full circle, returning to the simple structures and melancholic tone that colored their first recordings. “HEIR I” starts things off slowly with a Wurlitzer’s somber tremolo and some gently propulsive electric bass, soon joined by vibes and a soaring violin melody. “HEIR II” opens with a gorgeous ukulele melody, which is slowly engulfed in Kendall Clark’s expressive drumming, eventually giving way to a frenetic wall of strings.

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