Scottish post-rock juggernauts Mogwai have returned with their new album, Every Country’s Sun. In keeping with their style, much of the music is instrumental, and monolithic in its scope and stature. Mogwai’s music has always been lush and captivating, and Every Country’s Sun is another towering success for the group.
First of all, there are few new albums that I would rather get on my turntable immediately. There are so many layers to dig through here; it’s an experience to lie back with your eyes closed and let the sounds wash over you. Different themes crash over each other like waves on the shore; the music says so much more than lyrics ever can, and the feeling produced on songs like “Crossing the Road Material” and “aka 47” is just heavenly. Pensive and longing, it’s a superbly optimistic album that makes you want to tear up a bit.
That being said, as with a great deal of Mogwai’s records, the mood takes quite a few different turns, from upbeat and sunny to melancholy and morose. One of the few groups who can pull off this style and own it so well, it’s a real treat to hear Mogwai run wild creatively and drop rich, ever-changing sonic tapestries all over the place. I can already tell this will be an album that coincides with significant emotional moments in my life.
Mogwai is known for doing soundtrack work in addition to their studio albums, and this album could simultaneously be the soundtrack for a blazing oceanic sunset or the end of an epic fantasy film. Brash and powerful, yet vulnerable and emotive, it’s really something to hear. Like a cosmic explosion inside your brain. The imagery of the album lends itself to that as well, with the almost medieval psychedelia of “1000 Foot Face” and the swirling, sparse landscape of “Don’t Believe the Fife” blending together in an electrifying fashion.
I always, always recommend listening to albums straight through, and Every Country’s Sun is no different. It’s a megalith of epic proportions in true Mogwai style. Dramatic and thoughtful, crushing yet melodic, it’s a beautiful piece of work, and I suspect it will not leave my record player for quite some time. I hope you enjoy it the same way I have.
Every Country’s Sun Rating: 8 out of 10