“We Drift Like Worried Fire” by Godspeed You! Black Emperor // ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend (2012)
I found Godspeed You! Black Emperor at a turning point in my life. I was newly independent, had a burgeoning interest in the vast world outside of my little home, and was in the midst of a music revolution in my own mind - shifting from brit pop and indie rock to more experimental sounds. Everyone goes through a similar stage, I’m sure - mine happened to occur in the late 90’s/early 00’s. When “Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada” was released, I found myself at Flat, Black, and Circular in East Lansing, Michigan. It was just in and one of the guys working there (John - I wonder if he’s still there), who had been facilitating my expanse into new territories of sound, was listening to “Moya” from that record. The last half of that record left my jaw on the floor. I don’t thing that I had ever really heard something so massive and progressive, and challenging and beautiful as that particular orchestration. I bought it and found myself soon living in the sounds of GY!BE, who along with Sigur Ros soon became my go to bands for seeking further inspiration (be it political, musical, or referential). Two bands from different parts of the world, with different designs on music, but essentially the same effect on my brain - an atomic bomb of interest in everything that they were. I followed links and influences and off shoots and as Sigur Ros became more popular throughout the 00’s (and spawned many imitators), GY!BE drifted away (spawning even more imitators). Occasionally popping up in other bands and experiments. I kept waiting and hoping for something that would take me back to that feeling when I first heard “Moya”, but it never came (sure there were pieces of tracks on “Lift Yr Skinny Fists” that came close but never that introduction). Then, two weeks ago, they announced a new album and I eagerly sought it out, expecting another massively complex orchestration, peppered with drones and explosive power. I got those things. I also found myself stunned, and wrapped up in the awe of one particular track, “We Drift Like Worried Fire”, which started to feel like the way I did all those years ago. The strange thing being that you can’t have a second first impression, so I was not shocked by the band’s power. I was freshly invigorated by it all, one more time. No longer did I find myself leaning to the bands side projects, or the bands that were inspired by their sound, I was back listening to Godspeed do the thing that they are so brilliant at - challenge and push and inspire while leaving you in awe of the power of music - triumphant, sorrowful, and ominous simultaneously.
(pre-order) “Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!” (via Constellation // Out 10.16.12)