Balmorhea’s previous album All is Wild, All is Silent explored the freedom and isolation of settlers learning to live on an untamed frontier. It was an intensely physical album, dealing with the struggles of man on earth. By contrast, their new album Constellations shifts our focus to the cosmos and beyond, meditating solemnly on the mystical and metaphysical.
The disarming simplicity of the tracks on Constellations proves that Balmorhea doesn’t need dense arrangements full of 180 degree turns to craft deeply affecting compositions. More than just self-imposed limitation, the scale of this collection of songs introduces a sense of intimacy and perspective through their skillful use of space and restraint.
For centuries humans have distilled order from the chaos of the night sky, turning a collection of bright dots into the framework for giants of myth and legend. Similarly, the tracks on Constellations serve as framework for our individual mediations on the wonders of time and space.
As the album captivates and inspires our imaginations by recreating the movements and colors of life, it often gives the listener the sense of being tossed about on the ocean, at the mercy of a reckless and merciless god. Ultimately we’re left with the euphoric release experienced as one realizes, for the first time, that his fate relies more upon the teasing whims of the unknown than any design of his own.
Constellations is due for release on 23rd February 2010