From Québec, Canada come Echoes From Jupiter. Not the planet, the band. You may not have heard of them before today, but hopefully that’s about to change, as echoes have become waves on their space age inspired and aptly titled second album; Kosmonavt.
The somber piano motif of album opener Baikonur, quickly lulls you into an atmosphere of relaxation and reflection, until a beautiful roomy drum kit announces something more intentional with a jilted groove. It’s building towards something quite serious but when that something arrives, it’s actually some fantastically cheesy, gallant video game brass, maybe signalling our fanfare as we leave planet earth in our 1980’s spaceship.
RELEASE DATE: 23 October 2015 LABEL: Self-released
The entirety of Kosmonavt is one long exploration of build and release. It’s a slow, meandering crescendo that threatens to peak time and again before it actually does, resulting in an ultimately satisfying listen. When electric guitars finally kick in with distorted stabs during lengthy second track Moonshot, there’s somehow still a slight lack of finality. It’s not until towards the end of the song when Echoes From Jupiter find their full voice, and it’s this method of anticipation and reward that allows Echoes From Jupiter to blur the lines between Post-Rock, Experimental and Shoegaze with conviction.
Echoes From Jupiter display a thoughtful, purposeful approach to dynamics. Times you would expect a wall of guitars, they are mixed low and panned close, making the drums the lead instrument. Then half way through a song the guitars split wide and become louder than ever. 6:10 into ‘Failure’, the guitars open up into a throbbing grunge riff, and due to their previous reserve, it has a huge impact.
Kosmonavt is sumptuous and lush. Sounds have been carefully considered and layered to create rich atmospheres and textures almost meditative at times; as listeners we become lost in dreams and imagination. There’s some great rhythmic drumming, which is the highlight for me; maintaining a primal, human connection so we aren’t completely lost in the outer reaches. Echoes from Jupiter have succeeded, whether intentionally or organically, to create a very strong mood aligned with their theme. I could fall asleep to Kosmonavt, not because it is boring, it’s not that, but because it brings about such a strong feeling of peace and contentment.
We reach the final stage of our journey with Alone, Starting slow and exploding with a manic clash of noise, a final climax before slamming to a halt, and the fanfare refrain plays again. We are home. Five songs in 35 minutes makes for a quick album but I don’t think Kosmonavt suffers for the short run time, in fact I think it’s just the right amount.