Balmorhea is a band you find out about because This American Life used them for some interesting, mood-setting transitional music. They’re a band you find out about because The Atlantic premiered their newest track, “HEIR I.” You discover them because The New Yorker called them “lush with a slow-burning, wordless, and ambient Americana that manages to captivate while avoiding the histrionics of its post-rock forebear.”
All of this is to say that if you’re not the type that pays any mind to those types of brands, if you go into Balmorhea expecting the thrills and climaxes of post-rock, you might think they’re a little sleepy. You might have heard a song like “Massolan” after plugging Explosions in the Sky and Godspeed You! Black Emperor into Pandora and wondered what this sleepy time music is doing there.
Maybe they are a restrained, but that’s not the same thing as lifeless. Peace and serenity are as much indicators of life as vigorous drama. Balmorhea is a still water lake, a stabilizing influence, and that’s a wonderful escape from the typical thunder of post-rock. Not everything is life and death. Sometimes it’s just quiet wonder.
The song is part of a 7″ entitled HEIR to be released alongside a reissue of their self-titled 2007 debut on October 14 via Western Vinyl.