The Stars Above is an ambient post-rock project from Los Angeles native, Michael Jakucs. After taking a year off to release an album under a different name (Selles), The Stars Above has recently begun to work on new material for an upcoming album. While the album might be off in the distance, The Stars Above has recently released Drift which is an EP that contains songs that show where he plans to go in the future.
Drift’s opening track “Where Spirits Have Lease” is a fantastic song that shows the artistic growth of The Stars Above. The track opens up with this edgy atmospheric rock groove that has pounding drum and sick guitar lines. This eventually gets disrupted by crashing guitars around the one minute mark that gives meat to the track. The exchange between the atmospheric sound and heavy guitars develops into a crescendo that results into an ambient soundscape. The Stars Above uses this newfound area of sound to build up the song again with another driving crescendo. Only this time, the crescendo results in an area of an intense post-rock bliss with a balance of dense and ambient guitars that provide this yin and yang effect that plays so well within in the song. At the end of the song, the intensity dies down once more to give way to another ambient section. This section gives you the feeling that you are floating along in outer space. The song ends with the heavy guitar crashing one last time that leads to a spacey outro.
The second track “Drift” shows a more down tempo flair to the artistic talents of The Stars Above. The whole track features a very basic and hypnotic two chord progression that serves as a ground bass to contain the often wild spirit of the song. One of the many details I love about this song is the cool rapid hazy tones that serve as the backdrop to the opening of the song. The way that this track keeps so contained, despite a couple of instance where it could take off in an explosive direction, plays so well to the nature of the song.
The EP ends with the lush track “Echoes”. This is similar to the previous track “Drift”, but it has a gorgeous post-rock sound to it. The song has such a nice slow build to it that eventually grows into this sonic texture that is a pleasure on the ears. Listening to this track makes envision a sunrise happening after a night of misery. After the track climaxes, the music fades gradually into silence.
All in all, The Stars Above delivered a great EP that shows sonic traces of their past work while pushing new boundaries that ultimately shows artistic growth. These tracks make me so excited to hear The Stars Above’s new album. Until I am graced with the new album, I have Drift to hold me over in the meantime.
Overall Score: 7.5/10
Listen To: Echoes
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