Monday, March 1, 2010

The Candlepark Stars

Before I started this blog, I mainly listened to the electronic style of chillout tracks I first discovered on the Ultra or Ministry of Sound compilations. Since then, I have used a variety of methods for discovering new styles of "chillout" music. One of those "new" styles of music I discovered was post-rock and one of the bands in that genre to immediately catch my attention was "The Candlepark Stars." This band from Austin, Texas plays beautiful post-rock music and is perfect music for chillin' out to.

Now, what is post-rock? I think the best way to describe it is ambient music played with rock instruments rather than the typical electronic fare. Sigur Rios might be the most well known band in the genre and had some awe inspiring work on the Vanilla Sky soundtrack. I could probably dedicate an entire post to all of the different bands I've found in the genre, however, I chose these guys because they participate in social media very well. Every time I've communicated with them on Twitter or Facebook, they've responded in kind.

Their latest album is called "Shimmer and Gold" and they feature a few of these tracks on MySpace and Last.Fm.

"All the Stars in the Sky" is an amazing nine minute work which I believe is their best (out of many great tracks I've heard). It begins slowly with a soft intro alternating between guitar picking and a simple guitar melody and builds and builds to feature striking piano chords which then wilt away into a delightfully mellow ending. This was also the first track I had ever heard by the group and it made me think it could be in the closing credits of a film featuring a love story.

"You are Beautiful and Amazing" is a fitting track for this album since it pretty much describes the feel of the whole thing! There is an almost ghostly keyboard intro which makes random appearances throughout. This track has a great guitar melody that seems to almost sing a vocal part. The warm piano accompaniment drives us to an almost abrupt ending. This was unique because they do a lot of outtros that slowly fade out, so it was a bit of a surprise, albeit a pleasant one.

"Los Angeles" stuck out to me not only because I used to live in the area so I was curious as to what it sounded like, but also because of the beautiful high note melody on the guitar. This one made me think of driving the PCH with the sun setting behind the Pacific Ocean creating a magnificent orange sky. Since it also is the closing track, it also puts a nice "sunset" on the album to perhaps move on to listening to another album of theirs, the EP "Very Big Sky."

Their sound definitely creates a plethora of feelings and different imagery when listening. At one moment I was on the verge of tears and the next I was enjoying myself just thinking about how great life is. Now if it just would warm up here in the midwest, I could go outside and enjoy their music under the stars.

Check them out on their website at or on iTunes!

Keep chillin'


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