What I love about instrumental music is its ability to convey emotions without using words. Taking lyrics away makes people interpret music in a way they want to. For some, it is the expression of their sadness, others feel the energy coming from the sounds. In instrumental post-rock, the latter often mixes up with the former creating a piece of an overwhelming beauty which as I like to say, causes happy tears. Digging through a lot of music recently, I thought it would take ages for me to discover a new band that will give me goosebumps so strong that I will only be able to sit down with my jaw dropped and a silent “wow” of an endless amazement coming from my mouth.
Then I discovered Eupana, a five piece band from New York and New Jersey established in 2008 by David Underwood and Matt Schoenfeld. It took Eupana’s two founding members five years of playing NYC and NJ venues with rotating membership to decide that it’s time for a stable team. In 2013 they invited Rebecca Lowe, Shafeiq Baksh and Max Bernstein and formed Eupana as we know it today.
RELEASE DATE: 05 December 2014 LABEL: Self-released
Eupana play in a way that I like it the most, with no quasi-emotional guitar plunking, but with concrete musical themes which build up slowly and majestically creating a climax that can either leave you in tears or make you feel like climbing a high mountain and yell out your energy while being swept by cold and refreshing wind. Intensity – that’s what Eupana is about. As you drift more and more into their songs you can almost touch the tension as if it was something material. You can’t just listen to “So Many Suns” and do something else. You can try, but the music will quickly take over and make you forget everything for the sake of being immersed in vast landscapes of sounds.
When I listened to “So Many Suns” with my eyes closed (I recommend it!), there were loads of pictures rolling in front of my eyes, which I could easily catch and display in my mind. Because of its spatiality and a load of emotion, Eupana’s songs easily filled my head in the same way in which they could fill a movie. This is the kind of music which could make movies better or even could inspire people to start filming. The extent to which “So Many Suns” could correspond with a movie is enormous. Eupana does not play harshly or heavily, they flow smoothly like a river and yet are able not only to catch the attention of the listener but also to entrance him. It is achieved by a high degree of musical match of Eupana members. A huge role is also played by an appropriate production, which makes particular sounds articulate without taking away the natural blurriness of music.
Eupana did something that I’ve been waiting for – an album which could seem like a typical post-rock record until you realize the enormity of inspirations and emotions that it brings with itself. Turns out the key to making fresh good music is to try new things (like Eupana did with the usage of strings) and implement them into clichés. It sounds like something of a pejorative meaning, but in case of Eupana, using post-rock clichés like slow build up of the track works out just fine and adds a lot to the music. After all, no matter what you do, or how you do it, what matters is the outcome of your actions. In the case of Eupana, their actions resulted in five beautiful pieces of music which together create an album which is not only perfectly thought through, but also massive in its delicacy and full of natural, pristine emotions. Together with visual displays which Eupana is planning to implement into their gigs this year, experiencing “So Many Suns” live might be life-changing or at least unforgettable.