“Fans of cinematic instrumental post-rock a la This Will Destroy You, Pelican, Mono, Mogwai, etc. will find a whole lot to love about the band’s debut single, ‘Arc Eye,’ with an extra dose of synth-laden atmospherics that give the music an especially melancholic feel.” — MetalSucks
Gothenburg, Sweden-based post-rock trio BARRENS, featuring members of long-running alternative/experimental indie rock unit Scraps Of Tape, will release their debut full-length, Penumbra, April 10th via Pelagic Records.
While there is a great deal of common ground between what Scraps Of Tape and BARRENS create musically, BARRENS develops their own idiosyncratic sound on Penumbra. Driven as much by synths as guitars, Penumbra oscillates between the dark and bright sides of post-rock. Conceptually, the record centers itself on the topics of change, metamorphosis, and transformation, “especially movement into, through, out of shadows, and back again,” notes guitarist Johan G. Winther. “Being both lost in darkness yet finding comfort there. Seeking it. Afloat in blinding light, suspended in darkness,” as it is etched into the vinyl.
The members of BARRENS were already touring together before they were even a band. In 2018, Markku Hildén joined Scraps Of Tape, Winther and bassist Kenneth Jansson’s other band, as a live drummer for two tours of Europe and a tour of China. “Finding an immediate chemistry between us both playing and hanging out, we quickly realized we had very similar ideas regarding music and creating art together. So the outlines for what BARRENS would become were sketched out back then in vans, trains, planes, and over post-show beers at local bars,” recalls Jansson. Once back home, the newly formed band composed demos, drawing inspiration from new sources, and venturing through both well known and unknown territories. In the summer of 2019, Penumbra was recorded in Uppsala and Gothenburg, produced by the band, and mixed and mastered by Cult Of Luna’s Magnus Lindberg at Redmount Studios in Stockholm.
Penumbra is dense, sophisticated, deep, mature, overwhelming, minimalist, and elaborate all at the same time. It does not sound like a debut album of a new band, but more like an intuitive but also carefully reflected creation of musicians fused together by a long and strong bond. “What we all have in common is that creating music is a cathartic release. We do it not only because we want to, but just as much because we have to,” explains Winther. “This makes writing and creating something that is born out of equal amounts happiness, light, and positivity and anxiety, darkness, and negativity. It’s a constant movement through various degrees of light, of shadows, and of deep darkness. The shared bond of this has been the catalyst for what BARRENS and Penumbra is, and what it will continue to grow into and develop out of.”
In advance of the release of Penumbra, MetalSucks is pleased to unveil first single, “Arc Eye.” Issues the band of the track, “‘Arc Eye’ was the first piece of music written for what would become Penumbra. The idea behind the album and the driving force behind Barrens were already in place; to embrace inner darkness and outer light, to focus in on our shadows and to explore that space. ‘Arc Eye’ represents self-immolation through creation. To work so hard and intensely on something that you catch fire. Catharsis.”
Adds MetalSucks, “Fans of cinematic instrumental post-rock a la This Will Destroy You, Pelican, Mono, Mogwai, etc. will find a whole lot to love about the band’s debut single, ‘Arc Eye,’ with an extra dose of synth-laden atmospherics that give the music an especially melancholic feel.”
Stream BARRENS’ “Arc Eye,” courtesy of MetalSucks, at THIS LOCATION.
BARRENS’ Penumbra will be released on CD, LP, and digital formats. Find preordering options below. Fans Of Mono, PG.LOST, Caspian, Mogwai, This Will Destroy You, Pelican, Scraps Of Tape, God Is An Astronaut, and the like pay heed.
Penumbra Track Listing:
3. Oracle Bones
4. Grail Marker
5. Arc Eye
8. The Passing
Johan G. Winther – guitar, synths
Markku Hildén – drums, percussion
Kenneth Jansson – bass, synths