Mogwai: Every Country’s Sun
by Emily Zemler on October 05, 2017
Mogwai’s ninth studio album, Every Country’s Sun, reveals itself slowly, building up to the Scottish band’s signature post-rock swells. Opening track “Coolverine” grows over six minutes, eventually transforming from gentle instrumental hum to surging, static-laced riffs. It’s an apt entry into the album because it’s reminiscent of Mogwai’s live performances, which rise from quiet to deafening and overwhelming over and over again. This album isn’t necessarily just proof of their unique musical sensibility, though. After more than two decades, the musicians are still able to test new waters. In this case, that means employing harmonious vocals. “Party in the Dark” brings guitarist Stuart Braithwaite’s rarely heard voice to the forefront as he croons over a bed of lush, psych-tinged guitars. Songs like “Crossing the Road Material,” a seven-minute track, are reminiscent of albums like 2008’s The Hawk Is Howling, when Mogwai truly perfected the constantly growing instrumental rock song. These numbers, however, have a stronger complexity, and there’s a reason that Every Country’s Sun feels like a wall of fuzzed out, layered sound that raises itself around you—Braithwaite and his bandmates felt so affected by the world’s social and political tumult, especially Brexit and President Trump, that they used the music as a means of self-protection. The songs are meant as a fortress, something that can contain you without letting the outside world in. That sensibility shines through.
Authors: Emily Zemler
Album: Every Country’s Sun
Label: Temporary Residence