Clear Language, by Balmorhea

I would like plug a new album coming out by one of my favorite musical groups, Balmorhea.

Balmorhea’s musical creations have been for me a source of deep aesthetic appreciation since I first heard their album, “All is Wild, All is Silent,” with its evocations of the Western American landscape and the solitary desert soul.

Then I had the ‘well-tempered ecstasy’ to experience the group live, in concert, with my wife, in a small, grimy music club in Denver, a few years ago, which we don’t get to do very often.

I also learned, last week, serendipitously, that one of @care_save’s best friends and roommates is a big fan of this group…which made her the only other person I knew who had heard of Balmorhea.

I’m sharing because I believe the ‘gestures’ of these tracks echo some of our conversations here in the forum re: Sloterdijk’s Spheres, particularly the chapter we’re discussing live this week (Ch. 6: Soul Partitions – Angels—Twins—Doubles). Obviously, there is also the resonance with @johnnydavis54’s language experiments. I believe this music is an attempt to sound out a special quality of space, with exquisite attention paid to its dynamic formation.

Hear for yourself, what this duo has to say…

About the album

A decade-plus on the road, near-constant musical output, and shifting creative priorities caused the revered Austin duo, comprised of multi-instrumentalists Rob Lowe and Michael Muller, to soberly assess the band’s future. What, in the form of Balmorhea, was there left to say? And did they have the energy to say it?

Stranger, the group’s maximalist, genre-leaping full-length from 2012, had already seemed to trace the group’s farthest bounds. And, over the years, they’d worked with a roving cast of accomplished string and rhythm players to craft a glassy-eyed, sage-brushed, instrumental Americana that, while celebrated in The New Yorker, Pitchfork and The Atlantic, among myriad other press, and attracting the film, ad, and television worlds risked pigeonholing them for good.

As they had in the beginning, in 2006, Muller and Lowe worked simply and with restraint, letting intuition guide them as they molded the 10 elegant, spacious gestures that comprise Clear Language. A relaxed, clear-eyed wonder tumbles through these songs like herons lancing through Kerouac’s “hungermaking” fog. Clear Language is the sound of two friends transmitting unfettered meaning in a milieu choked by double-speak at every turn.


Thanks for the introduction to Balmorhea. Today Brandice (my roommate) and I discovered this artist. And our minds are collectively being transformed and expanded by this phenomenally brilliant artist.