God is an Astronaut: A Moment of Stillness (Revive Records, 2005)
God is an Astronaut has quickly become one of my favorite bands. Ethereal, powerful, and emotive, GIAA make brilliant post-rock that surpasses even the likes of Mogwai. On the heals of their brilliant All is Violent, All is Bright, GIAA have released a five song EP that takes accents from their full-length and re-tools them into more brilliant songs. The glitter of their guitars has spent most of the last months in my stereo and there seems to be no time when the discs will come out of constant rotation. A Moment of Stillness is approximately 25 minutes long and every second of the EP is brilliant, subtle, and luscious.
Beginning with “Frozen Twilight,” Moment hearkens back to their previous discs with their signature guitar sound. The keyboards have an angelic feel and the drums are sparse and perfect. Their subtle use of sounds, with short feedback and other small noises lurking in the song amidst the guitars, is both patient and brilliant. Eventually, the volume rises as the guitars move to the fore and the drums become more intricate. “A Moment of Stillness” has an almost melancholy feel to it. The guitar’s angelically sore once again amidst perfectly place drums. They are perfect at telling musically powerful stories. “Forever Lost” is a reprise of their song of the same name from All is Violent, All is Bright. This is a much quieter version with piano sitting on a bed of light keys and beautifully sparkling guitar. In a way, I think this song helps tie their former work with what is to come.
“Elysian Fields” harkens to the Roman idea of the afterlife. The track begins with keys and humming guitars with beautifully dreamy walls of sound undergirding the entire track. This track is aptly named and has that euphoric feel of the Roman afterlife laced throughout. “Crystal Canyon” rounds out the EP. This short track begins with a wall of sound that hums and waves through the speakers. This plays out for two minutes and ends this beautiful piece of work.
For those of you who have not listened to God is an Astronaut, I highly recommend you do. All of their discs are incredible and will quickly work their way into anyone’s usual rotation. Subtle and perfect, A Moment of Stillness will move you.