In the wake of the UK tour announcement sprung in November, and the Instagram teases of work being carried out on new material, post-rock icons Explosions In The Sky have given us the good part of today’s news, with their reveal of “The Wilderness” – their first studio LP since 2011’s “Take Care, Take Care, Take Care”.
The band’s official website states that the album will be released on April 1st, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed that this isn’t some cruel and unusual hoax. Still, chances are very good that the new album will indeed release as announced, as they are already taking pre-orders, and the band have revealed a track list and a brand new video for one of said tracks, titled “Disintegration anxiety”.
And speaking of track lists – according to this new information, “The Wilderness” will be comprised of nine new tracks, which is, in the words of my colleague Dave Zeidler, “an embarrassment of riches” for any Explosions In The Sky fan. Here they are, in order:
THE WILDERNESS TRACK LISTING• Wilderness • The Ecstatics • Tangle Formations
• Logic Of a Dream • Disintegration Anxiety • Losing the Light
• Infinite Orbit • Colors in Space • Landing Cliffs
Based on the options presented on the pre-order page, it’s safe to assume that the album will be of epic length, as there are two double LP versions available: one in two shades of blue, and one in the standard black. And it’s quite fortunate that they’re offering such a bounty of vinyl, as the record cover is a striking image indeed, worth enjoying as part of a gatefold vinyl package. Alluding both to early 20th Century abstract art, and to elaborate stained glass, the cover image is one of the most artistically accomplished in the band’s discography, edging away from the distinctive child-like aesthetic of previous releases.
The pre-order website offers a tantalizing description of the new record:
“It’s the band’s sixth album, and first non-soundtrack release since 2011’s ‘Take Care, Take Care, Take Care’. True to its title, ‘The Wilderness’ explores the infinite unknown, utilizing several of the band’s own definitions of “space” (outer space, mental space, physical geography of space) as compositional tools. It is an album where shoegaze, electronic experimentation, punk damaged dub, noise, and ambient folk somehow coexist without a hint of contrivance – and cohere into some of the most memorable and listenable moments of the band’s expansive body of work – “proper” studio albums and major motion picture soundtracks alike. If ‘The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place’ was the defining album of their career, ‘The Wilderness’ is the band’s [re]defining album.”
Until such time arrives that we may enjoy “The Wilderness” as a whole, I leave you with a taste of what’s to come: “Disintegration anxiety” – a thrilling dialogue between the aural and visual representations of a powerful concept.