One year after releasing their latest album, the stunning (and easily among last year’s best) Leave Me No Light, April Rain are back, not with a new album, but with the well-deserved vinyl release of the equally great Waiting for Sunrise, their first album release back in 2013. It is the perfect occasion for any fan of post-rock to revisit April Rain’s earlier work as it passed under the radars of many (including mine) back in 2013.
This vinyl release was made available by The Indie Factory [http://www.theindiefactory.com/store-page], a label that describes themselves as a few friends who love music, vinyl and quality projects, and this is exactly what we sense in this release: music fans that are giving all their hearts and talent to ensure maximum quality and exposure to a great record they love. They gave a sweet treatment to Waiting for Sunrise with a double gatefold LP of high quality and beautiful packaging. Even in a limited release, they have gone to great lengths to attain the highest level in sound quality and appearance.
It has been a while since I listened to Waiting for Sunrise, but when I spun the LP for the first time and the bass kicked in in Come Back Quicker Please, the first song of the album, it was impressive how the vinyl treatment enhanced the listener experience. The production is perfectly balanced and the album mastering showcases the perfect studio work even more. There is a great range of emotions and intensity that transfer into a wide range of dynamics on the album. The quality of the records ensures that we sense all of the intensity and details that the musicians want us to feel without blowing our speakers out by cranking the volume too high, an unfortunate event that is too common in the era of digital recordings.
One thing that I love about vinyl is that it brings out subtleties that are hard to notice in a more standard or disappointing presentation. In Soulmate for instance, the smooth clean lead guitar over the leitmotiv distorted riff would probably go unnoticed in another mix. However, the vinyl has this magic that allows the softer melodies to breathe more and shine, just like in Exploring Yourself with a Knife, another high point of this album.
However, while getting more and more through the album, I kept noticing the drum work and how it benefited from the LP treatment, especially since it was not that obvious on the digital release. The cymbal work in Constant Uncertainty of Your Universe is amazing; their crisp sound is unbelievably clear and the drumming on the toms right after is strong and deep. There are some sweet rim shots in Come Back Quicker Please and This Sky is Meant to Grow that really tie the songs together at some points. The wooden sound of the stick alongside the waterfall in the background both give unique dimension to the latter. To be able to notice tiny details like these is proof of excellence in both the musicianship and the production of the album.
The Double LP was released through The Indie Factory and is available in 2 limited editions, both splattered either with white and blue or red, orange and yellow, and they both come with a digital download card. This is the first April Rain record to get a vinyl release and I hope this won’t be the last as their growing exposure in the post-rock scene might help the more recent Leave Me No Light or One Is Glad To Be Of Service get similar treatment for the highest pleasure of every post-rocker out there.