If you were a particular fan of a certain subset of experimental drone music, you might be a fan of the critically-loved trio, Emeralds. Over the last six years, the Cleveland band have made sonically diffusive records that challenge the nations of what a typical song should sound like. Sadly though, the band is no more, calling it quits after two of the original three members decided to leave and concentrate on their solo projects.
Something that you may not be aware of though is that all three members of the band were actually highly prolific in their own right – making and producing songs and records that far outnumber the work of the collective. So while we might be deprived of the mash-up of ideas that can come from three ambitious musicians with differing specialties, we can still take solace in the fact that in some ways Emeralds still lives on among the works of each of the three guys.
One of these guys is Mark McGuire, the person most responsible for the rocking guitars within Emeralds‘ songs. Within in his own compositions though, McGuire is more subdued and composed. McGuire favors the lightness and sinew-nes of his guitar plucks. But he layers these with synths and mandolins and drums, eventually building the simple into something grand. These deceptive depths are the defining characteristics of McGuire’s newest record Along The Way. Largely wordless and lyric-less, Along The Way is a suite of sounds that start out meditative before awashing you with it grandiosity upon it’s end. A very good record.
Mark McGuire is coming to St Louis. He will be playing at Off Broadway on 4/2 along with Jenny Hval (tickets here)
Check out the centerpiece song of the record, The Instinct embedded below.
Mark McGuire – Along The Way comes out 2/4 via Dead Oceans (order here)