Explosions in the Sky Subtly Expand their Sound with Take Care, Take Care, Take Care

I’m sitting here in South Austin watching the rain and the lightning and listening to Explosions in the Sky’s latest album, Take Care, Take Care, Take Care. The thunder of the storm seems to be synchronized to the heavy crescendos of the booming drums while the rain’s pitter-patter serves as a nice backing track to the soft dynamics of the heavily-reverbed guitar melodies. I can’t think of a better environment in which to enjoy, Take Care, Take Care, Take Care.

Explosions in the Sky are hometown favorites that broke out onto the national and international scene to great success. Their sweeping guitar melodies and glimmering soundscapes have been featured in movies, TV shows, and various documentaries. This has spread their self-described “cathartic mini-symphonies” to a wider audience. I can probably be deemed part of that wider audience. Being in California up until a couple years ago, I don’t know if I would have heard of Explosions in the Sky if they had remained local darlings and not skyrocketed to acclaim. Luckily, now that I’m here in Austin, I’m discovering the great array of instrumental moody and ambient dare-I-say post-rock bands that this city’s scene has to offer. And I’m loving every crescendo of it.

But back to the album at hand, with Take Care, Take Care, Take Care, Explosions in the Sky have, upon first listen, created an album very similar to their previous releases. The album is full of the contrasting dynamics of soft guitar melodies followed by heavy drum climaxes. The opening track “Last Known Surroundings” perhaps stays closest to the classic Explosions in the Sky formula with its multi-layered guitar and traditional drum kit beats crescendoing multiple times throughout the song. Beyond this song though, there are a lot of new things going on in  the album that have only made brief appearances in EITS’ previous albums. Alternative percussion including hand claps, shakers and tambourine are featured in the album. Also, vocals are spread throughout. Vocal snippets that serve to add to the soundscape can be heard in the tracks “Let Me Back In” and “Human Qualities.” But in the song, “Trembling Hands” the vocals actually carry the melody throughout the first part of the song. These vocals add to the franticness of “Trembling Hands” which is the shortest track on the album at 3 minutes and 30 seconds.

Explosions in the Sky - Trembling Hands

Explosions in the Sky with Take Care, Take Care, Take Care, have added another broody and beautifully powerful instrumental masterpiece to their discography. But I’m ready for more. I just hope we don’t have to wait another 4 years before their next release of tunes that are the perfect musical accompaniment to Austin stormy weather.
-Dan