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Explosions in the Sky

May 10, 2016

Ogden Theater, Denver, CO


As music listeners and music lovers, we've become accustomed to the convention of vocal tracks in the songs that we hear. For many, a thought that initially runs through one's head upon watching a friend excitedly enjoining them to check out this new band they just discovered because they'll blow your mind and duuuuuuude, trust me. They're, like, so amazing. And that thought is “What's the singer sound like?” Whether conscious or not, that rumination is at the heart of much of our attachment to music. It can be the vocal range, the introspective and relatable lyrics, or the electric urgency that often only a frontperson can provide. But what if the voice of the band is not a singular mouthpiece? What if it is the tonal qualities of the music and the tenor it evinces within the ears and minds of its listeners?

Such is the case with instrumental indie rock powerhouses Explosions in the Sky, who recently burst into Denver's Ogden Theatre for two consecutive nights of sonic bedlam. The band compensates for its lack of a singer by conveying emotional resonance through the music itself. The creeping melodies, the crescendos, the white-hot blasts of bass and drums that fade back down to Earth; the music brings you on a ride from the exhilarating to the haunting and back again within the same tunes. These dynamics have served the Austin, TX originals well throughout a career that spans seven albums and numerous movie and television soundtracks.  

After experiencing Explosions in the Sky live, it is evident how they've excelled both on the road and in the studio due to, not in spite of, their eschewal of a microphone-gripping maestro. With the quartet's refined musicianship, airtight collaboration, and the sonorous evocation of their performances, they offer a persuasive point that a singer is not necessary when the music speaks for itself.

Article By: Steve Lustig

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