Release Date: Oct 20, 2017
Record label: Sargent House
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Post-Rock, Instrumental Rock, Math Rock
In the lead-up to going in to record the nine songs that make up ‘The Endless Shimmering’, And So I Watch You from Afar practiced them extensively, the idea being that they’d be so well-drilled before they actually headed to the studio that it would be as if they'd already toured them. That's something that shines through pretty clearly throughout what is far and away the tightest and most refined record to date from the Belfast outfit. As usual, they take a liberal approach to the volume dial across the board; the drums are thunderous, especially on opener 'Three Triangles', while the guitars flit frequently between shimmering (!) walls of feedback and the kind of agile licks that they've long plucked from their more melodic influences.
When a band follows a promising debut with a couple lacklustre albums, it can be concerning. However, when those lacklustre albums are followed by one that's cataclysmically bad, it can feel like their time as an act worth following is over. How can you dig yourself out of such a deep pit? The only case for things getting better seems to be the unlikelihood of them getting even worse.
Belfast's And So I Watch You from Afar play a form of grandiose, tuneful instrumental rock that celebrates life and exuberantly embraces the future. Their songs are aggressive and amped-up, but they aren't angry, and they aren't sad or brooding either. They're emotionally heavy and dramatic, and undoubtedly overwhelmed by all of the pressures of the world, but overall, the band's music is unabashedly hopeful and triumphant.