OV Recommends: Balmorhea

Texas hill country music festival, UtopiaFest, released it’s stunning lineup this past week. While the timeless indie electronic outfit RATATAT will be headlining the festival, local bands and producers will be sharing the bill with the A-listers. Austin favorites like Ruby and The Reckless, CAPYAC, Resonant Frequency and Calliope Musicals will be representing Austin on Sept 29-Oct 2, amongst other popular local musicians. As a friend and partner to the Austin arts community, On Vinyl would like to recognize the incredibly moving sound of an Austin-rooted band who will also be playing the BYOB camping festival.

Balmorhea is a six-piece instrumental ensemble that combines a variety of classic instruments into a compelling, contemporary symphony-esque sound. Balmorhea leads their listeners into their tracks using a soft and slow ballet melody, then later picks up the pace using various pitches and tones to create a large, spacey sound of violins, guitar, piano and drums–comparable to Explosions In The Sky. Their genre is considered “minimal,” because it is easy to understand and follow. Their music has no syncopation, only beautiful, touching sounds that are easily digested.

Instrumental music is beautiful in it’s ability to teach its listeners a lesson without using rhetoric. Albums and tracks without language allow consumers to interpret the song’s message with no bias as to what it was originally written for or about. In other words, its interpretation and implications are malleable depending on the perspective of the listener. Balmorhea guarantees introspection through their philosophical sound.

Balmorhea has an established, devout following and a whopping ten-million views on their track Masollan on Spotify. Their music has been critically acclaimed by Pitchfork, The Wall Street Journal, NPR and the freakin’ BBC. The ensemble has toured globally, touching cultures all over the world. From Mexico to China to Paris, their travels reinforce that instrumental music is a universal language in and of itself. Their loyal fan base and global recognition is a testament to the beautiful music they provide and a testament to supporting local musicians.

Psychedelic substances and general intoxication is far too common at music festivals. Ordinary situations become much more fragile under the influence in large crowds. Fortunately, Balmorhea provides a warm, safe sound that will promote togetherness and wonder at UtopiaFest. OV is beyond stoked to share the city of Austin with such incredible composers who possess such a well-put-together sound, and we truly look forward to their set at UtopiaFest.