Gilmore Trail‘s sophomore album “The Floating World” is a carefully woven set of tracks that explore various themes within each song. Hailing from Sheffield, this four-piece post-rock group have really dug deep into the music that they aspired to create and execute it with ease. The album itself wanders and roams through different instruments and sounds, while being tied together by a central theme. To understand what that theme is, you have to break this album down and explore what these songs mean individually, and only then will you be able to connect the dots.
I have already dissected and expressed my opinions on their first single, “Memories of Redfern”, in a previous article. If you have read or read that, you will know that I very much enjoy that song. However, that is only the first track, and it opens the doors to a wide expanse of music that excels in greater depths than this song did. For example, “Waveless Shore”, the second track off the album finds a way to hold onto a powerful energy in the track, while keeping it relaxed and rather peaceful at the core. To understand this track, you must imagine a true waveless shore, an open, flat stretch of water. Gilmore Trail is a band that uses nature to portray its beautifully crafted music, and this song does just that. The tranquil melodies with a very playful undertone carry this song through eight minutes without ever being bored or without a sense of direction.
RELEASE DATE: 16 May 2015 LABEL: Chasmata Records
This album is only eight tracks long, but don’t let that fool you as it is packed with an hour’s worth of music. Songs like “Ballard Down” and “Origins/Oceans” surpass the ten minute mark, and they take the time to deeply explore the atmosphere they aim to surround you in. “Ballard Down” strikes me as one of my favorites off the album for its sudden and powerful break from an ambient landscape to a world of indescribable noise. It’s haunting, it’s filled with sorrow and melancholy, as it goes on it gets harder and harder to handle. A quick Google search will show you Ballard Down is actually a location in England right along the English Channel. I’m not sure what this location means to the band, but there is something in the music that resonates with the hillsides of this land. Listening to the track I can imagine the strong, heavy winds pushing against me as I stand along the edge of one of the cliffs, looking into the vast waters around me. I can hear this song, but I can really feel it as well, and that’s why it is such a success.
“Origin/Oceans” on the other hand showcases a more sonic and upbeat tone of the band. Early on the song finds its way to a very elated and loud guitar riff that takes control over the song. Throughout, the song keeps to a joyful, dreamy, and rich atmosphere. The song is well over twelve minutes, but it keeps you engaged for the entire length. The ending is a wonderfully playful and imaginative crash of the drums and powerful guitar chords. The idea and concept from the song title seemed to be the playground for Gilmore Trial to replicate musically. The success of this song lies in the way the music connects with these ideas, ideas of happiness, ideas of beauty, and ideas of joy.
The shorter songs on the album like “The Shallows” and “Dusk” still hold their weight and provide the album with more depth and further expanding of their sound. On “The Shallows”, the exquisite guitarwork is met with pounding drums, with a very much alive bass gluing the song together. “Dusk” is the last song on the album, and it seems to be the calmest too. This song feels like a bright, sun-filled morning after a rainy night. It traps you in that moment, in that feeling, and it fills you with powerful emotions. It is the perfect end to this album.
“The Floating World”, the title track, had to be saved for last. For many reasons this song is the staple of the album, and it brings all of the other songs together to form a powerful point. This song is definitely the heaviest on the album, and its sound is very straight-forward and direct. The energy does take you over, and in an instant falls down to a remorseful end. The album title The Floating World is certainly another name for Earth, and this bridge connects all of the songs together, but moreover combines and forms them into such a cohesive piece from start to finish.
The Floating World is such a moving album in the way that is expresses its global appreciation of things we as humans and animals alike share, as well as giving vivid, personal experiences too. The things we share are shown in the songs about the beauty of the Earth aesthetically; the beauty of the land, the beauty of the water, and the beauty of life. The vivid experiences are shown in the song that encapsulate the places they grew up in, the places they’ve explored on their own and learned about these shared appreciations. There are many ways to view the Earth, and this album is an entryway to explore it musically. The Floating World, for lack of a better term, is a huge success for a band who have mastered the structure of writing natural and compelling music with deeply rooted connections to nature and imagination alike.
The album will be out May 16th, 2015, and you can pre-order it here.