Our friends The Candlepark Stars released a new album yesterday! We reviewed their previous album, “Shimmer and Gold” here last year and the follow up “All the Little Things” uses all of those same wonderfully beautiful elements that make their music so enjoyable.
“All of the Little Things” is only 8 tracks and Kerry recently posted on Twitter that it was originally planned to be an EP. The running time is still 47 minutes, however, and still provides 8 great tracks of relaxing, beautiful atmospheric music.
“Fifteen Seconds Left to Live” is a beautiful, throbbing piece that pulsates like a beating heart. During the beginning and middle portions, it is as though one is re-living images of their life as the seconds tick away and the music gets more and more intense. Then at the end, the beating heart slows down to a halt and we are left with the sounds of gentle guitar and synth as we drift up into the heavens. Truly an emotional track!
I also enjoyed the second track “Shimmerglimmer” which develops a nice little drum groove on top of their usual delicately produced sounds. The epic final track “I Was Here” continually builds and builds using gentle piano strokes, guitar picking, and then goes into much bigger sounding guitar chord hits at the end.
If you are new to The Candlepark Stars, one of the best things about their music is it is ideal for pure relaxation. You can sit back, relax, let your mind wander and take in everything. Or, you can envision a film playing in your mind and these wonderful sounds provide a soundtrack to your thoughts. I think they have really grown musically since their last album and the more apparent layers of sounds is evidence of that. This album appears to have more of a focus than Shimmer and Gold. With tracks named “15 Seconds Left to Live” and “When I am Old and Gray” it appears as though there is a theme of facing one’s mortality or possibly reflecting on a loss of a loved one. Either way, there is a definite soul to this album and they should be proud of what they’ve done with this new effort.
2. Run With Me
3. 15 Seconds Left to Live
4. Take My Hand
5. It Gets Better
6. Love Wants Us to Win
7. When I Am Old and Gray
8. I Was Here
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
, they’ve responded in kind.
Their latest album is called “Shimmer and Gold” and they feature a few of these tracks on MySpace
“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.