Dominic Aitchison (bass), Stuart Braithwaite (guitar, vocals), Martin Bulloch (drums) and Barry Burns (keyboard, computer, guitar) make up the Scottish group Mogwai, who release their ninth studio album, Every Country’s Sun, in their two decade plus long career. Dave Fridmann, who has worked with The Flaming Lips, MGMT, Tame Impala, Neill Finn and OKGo to name a few notable artists, served as producer on Mogwai’s latest album. He has a long history of working with the band, producing two of their previous albums, Come On Die Young (1999) and Rock Action (2001).
Mogwai bring a balanced intellectual and expressionist sensibility to their album Every Country’s Sun. Each idiosyncratically titled track captures a world of its own. Coolverine opens the album. It’s a largely a guitar driven track with a raw grunge sound, but Mogwai treat the guitars delicately, balancing them out with the other timbres. Mogwai have an ability to create a lingering sense of tension and release in their music as in Brain Sweeties’s full long chord changes, the joyous climax of Crossing Road Material and the triumphant and heroic sound of Every Country’s Sun.
I like that there aren’t lyrics in a lot of their songs because this allows me to fully connect with the sound and project my own experiences and interpretations on the music freely. ak47 uses a dark electronica blend coupled with a slow tempo and later includes weeping guitars and subtle vocal samples; to me this evokes a feeling of loss so poignantly. To me, this is a mourning song. Party In The Dark is one of the few tracks that include a vocal line, this track is also a little more conventional in its structure and instrumentation, however, with it’s shoegaze edge, it fits in well with the broader album sound concept.
Mogwai have carved out a unique space for themselves on the genre spectrum, lying somewhere between powerful cinematic rock, nostalgia inducing chillwave and high art music. Prepare yourself for an outer world sonic journey when you listen to Every Country’s Sun.