Daily Dose: ‘Chalice Hymnal’ by Grails

This song is the title and first track of Grails most recent album (also released on the 17th February 2017), and both track and album are gooduns. Alex John Hall, Emil Amos and William Zakary Riles are currently operating as a trio (I’m enjoying my instrumental focused trios, at the moment), they still manage to be pretty disparate and diverse in their sound. I think some outlets have somewhat dismissively termed Grails as limited to post-rock, which I think is ridiculous, and that is coming from someone who really likes post-rock. I have also seen some commentators (in at least one occasion after applying the post-rock designation) compared the band to Boards of Canada, which is a much more subtle and cleverer comparison point, in my eyes (ears?). Some of the songs on this album really capture that upbeat alien feel that is so unique to Boards, being the closest thing to that melancholy wonder that I think I have perhaps ever heard, especially the track ‘Deeper Politics’ that was the one that made me hit on the similarity. There’s also songs such as ‘Rebecca’ that sound like experimental new age atmospherics, so I really can’t stress enough the amount of variety here. It does really sound like it could be a soundtrack for a mood heavy part of a movie or show; such is the resonance and potential emotion contained within, and the organisation that leans towards the delicate, careful construction and intended result. Listened to the whole album on my way back from work, and as I’ve stated already it covers a lot of fantastically interesting ground. This song is a fantastic starting point for anyone interested, (I get a lot of Durutti Column from it) reminding me of all of the joy of deliberately paced, intelligently constructed music artistry. Give it a try.

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