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Album Review: How To Let Go by blanket

Cinematic post-rock act blanket release their debut full length album, How To Let Go, on 18th May via Music For Nations. With initial ideas and early demos coming together at the beginning of 2016, as guitarists Bobby Pook and Simon Morgan would routinely retire to the conservatory of their rented home in Blackpool to noodle on guitars, tinkle ivories and write intertwining melodies, you’ve now got one of 2018’s most expansive, diverse, comforting and triumphant post-rock albums.

Where do blanket fit into the post-rock spectrum? Well, it’s certainly towards the more experimental, progressive and ambient side rather than the more angular hard rock side. As their name would suggest the band manage to create a comforting quilt of sound, transporting them to dreamy landscapes of sweeping, beauty with soaring guitars, tinkling piano and interspersed vocals. Yet the band still include big guitars and spine-tingling crescendos, it’s ambience on cinematic scale.

Movie soundtracks were key components of the pair’s inspiration with the aim being to write heavy rock music suffused with the far-reaching, ample emotional resonance demanded of film scores. They sought to write music using broad, expansive cinematic strokes, creating visuals to accompany and expand on their already vivid compositions.

As such, to get the full power and gravitas of How To Let Go you should listen to it as an album, as one movement of music. Let blanket take you on their journey, from the quiet piano led opening of title track ‘How To Let Go’ through to the triumphant emotion of closer ‘Immemorial Sea’ you can’t help but fall in love and get swept away by the album.

As all good post-rock should do, How To Let Go really connects with the listener. It oozes sentiment, creating a primal emotional connection with listener. Through both the delicate textures and the more imposing, forthright guitar parts you’re enchanted with the uplifting feeling that even if you’re staring down the barrel of a gun everything is going to be OK.

To dip into each track would be counterproductive. While an individual track may have its strengths, it is heightened and complemented by the tracks around it pulling little nuances to the fore and creating a greater impact. That said, if you must dip in check out the wonderfully moving ‘The Devil Hold Fast Your Eyelids’.

Get this listened to. Get this experienced.

AD Rating 8.75/10

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