Balmorhea Clear Language

Release Date 09/22/2017

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When  Rob  Lowe  and  Michael  Muller  founded  Balmorhea  in  2006,  their  goals  and  expectations  were modest, as they created music to share with friends and family, and slowly developed a following in their hometown  of  Austin  and  beyond.  They couldn't  have  anticipated  that  their  music  would  take  them  on multiple tours  of  the  US  and  Europe,  and  even to  Asia. Nor  did they  expect  the  praise  their  work  would receive  from  such  well-respected  publications  as  Pitchfork,  Rolling  Stone, The  New  Yorker,  and  The Atlantic among myriad others, and that their work would become quietly ubiquitous, doing the emotional heavy-lifting for national TV commercials, films, radio and cable programs, and countless documentaries.   

Lowe  and  Muller  had  developed  a  wordless  language  with  a  seemingly  limitless  potential  to  stir  the listener's soul. Over the course of five full-length albums and a 7" EP, the duo pushed their work to its outer bounds, concluding the first chapter of their career with their maximalist, genre-leaping full-length Stranger (2012). Now five years later they return with their most fully realized album to-date, Clear Language.     

Almost a decade on the road, near-constant musical output, and shifting creative priorities caused Lowe and Muller, to soberly assess the band’s future. What, in the form of Balmorhea, was there left to say? And did they have the energy to say it? To answer that question the duo decamped to their east Austin studio, where they worked simply and with restraint, letting intuition guide them as they molded 30-plus raw ideas into the 10 elegant, spacious gestures that comprise Clear Language.

Co-produced and engineered by David Boyle in Austin’s Church House Studios, Clear Language finds the duo returning to the simplicity of their roots. They eschewed complexity for complexity’s sake, allowing a watery, sand-hued mood to settle over their use of analog synthesizers, piano, vibraphone, electric and bass guitar, violin, viola, field recordings, and, for the first time in the band’s history, trumpet, performed by Tedeschi Trucks' Ephraim Owens. A relaxed, clear-eyed sense of reflection flows gracefully through the album as these two old friends transmit unfettered meaning through simple sonic gestures that resonate with the cosmos as much as they echo the pulse of a human heart. In a culture dominated by the loudest, ostentatious voices, Lowe and Muller continue to prove the power and importance of restraint and minimalism. 

This fall, in cities across the U.S. and Europe, Balmorhea will bring Clear Language to life with a full band of multi-instrumentalists, and the ensemble will be enshrouded in a light/video projection that’s being developed to mirror the emotional tone of Clear Language. Audiences can also expect to hear classic works from All is Wild, All is Silent, Stranger, Constellations - the spareness of which invites comparisons to Clear Language —and more from Balmorhea’s dense catalog, dating back to 2006.

01. Clear Language
02. Sky Could Undress
03. Dreamt
04. Slow Stone
05. Ecco
06. Behind The World
07. Waiting Itself
08. 55
09. All Flowers
10. First Light