glaston • I Am Whole [2xLP]
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I Am Whole by glaston on 180g colored vinyl.
Co-release with US based A Thousand Arms, coming in a gatefold sleeve with additional insert and anti-static innersleeves in three variants:
- EU variant: Trans Orange w/ Black Splatter (limited to 200 copies worldwide)
- US variant: Olive & Swamp Green Fade (only 20 available through dunk!records, limited to 200 copies via A Thousand Arms)
- Standard black variant (limited to 100 copies worldwide)
Releases on November 11, 2022.
“There’s still so much to feel.” Out of everything in the Swiss quartet glaston’s bio for their sophomore record I Am Whole, this single, simple phrase resonates the loudest. It is likely that the overwhelming majority of dedicated post-rock fans first found themselves called to the genre because the dramatic, heartfelt, voiceless compositions spread across its impressively varied landscape allowed them to feel in ways they may not have been able to approach otherwise. The more indirect narrative that emerges from the lack of vocal presence allows one to take the journey in exactly the manner that suits them, and it is that unique experience that has given post-rock a global voice louder in its formlessness than any individual singer could be dictating the action to audiences. This listener-driven emotional core is what gives the form its power, and with that spirit in mind glaston continuously taps into the limitless energy of human passion, encouraging fans to acknowledge and celebrate all the tenderness and intensity that resides within them.
glaston could be characterized as a textbook iteration of the modern traditional post-rock movement, existing as they do at the crossroads of classical, prog, and alt-rock. In earlier work Selina Maisch’s piano playing was a clear driving force, and she still plays a central role, providing the melodic warmth that sets the template for each composition. But I Am Whole sees them inviting new dimensions into the fold, including evocative orchestral arrangements by Coen Strouken, and creative guidance from Paul Seidel and Peter Voigtman of The Ocean, which brings a prog-metal sensibility to the guitar and rhythm section that blends seamlessly into the existing canvas without compromising the inherent gentleness that defines the band. This can be heard most clearly on the second single, “Rotbuch,” a track which moves the piano to the periphery while leaning heavily into synth-driven textures that are confidently backed by some of the most muscular rhythm performances on the record. This inclination can also be seen in the raucous outpouring of “Thin Skinned (Narda),” the smoldering tension of “Midnight,” and the sometimes stormy, yet undeniably impassioned crescendos of the climactic “This Is Us Colliding.” If we could use a fellow dunk!records brethren for comparison, some of the more prog-heavy tracks on I Am Whole are reminiscent of what a more grounded, less frenetic Tangled Thoughts Of Leaving might sound like.
All of this is not to say that glaston has eschewed that which has previously defined them. The album-opening title track is perhaps the purest rendition of the band’s stylistic proclivities, centering around an achingly beautiful piano refrain that could draw blood from the stoniest of hearts. Songs like “Hello World,” “From Afar,” and “Shimmering (Everything’s Connected)” showcase these four musicians’ remarkable symbiosis, as they execute the not-insignificant endeavor of displaying individual restraint in the interest of collective prosperity. The performances are all in service of the journey, which the band hopes will begin with listeners delving deeply into themselves and culminate in the expansion of their horizons. We should never forget that there will always be new sentiments to experience and new ways to explore old feelings. I Am Whole provides a powerful, poignant soundtrack to guide listeners in their quest to pull all of those things together.