Balmorhea All is Wild, All is Silent

Balmorhea All is Wild, All is Silent
As on last year's Rivers Arms, this Austin outfit explore what is possible with a classical left-hand married to a folk rock right. This new album wanders inland from the riverside until it reaches a point in the desert's dusty eminence. "Settler" heads the charge with a "wagons, ho" gallop showing off the dynamic interplay of guitar, violin, cello, bass and piano. A wordless vocal and counterpoint chorus of handclaps makes it impossible not to smile along. Even quieter moments, like on "Remembrance" and "Night in the Draw," with its open range banjo, eventually open up into sky-filling exuberance. Jesy Fortino, of the criminally overlooked Tiny Vipers, makes an appearance on "November 1, 1832," lending haunted vocals to a simple piano theme. As with Nick Cave and Warren Ellis's film soundtracks, Balmorhea manage to describe and complement the western landscape without employing shop-worn Morricone-isms. Let them run wild through the night. (Western Vinyl)