It has been a good while since an album really hit me. I have in the past called albums beautifully crafted, but every now and then I find an album that really touches me deep down. A lot of the time, these are not heavy albums, but every now and then they are. This has rang true with my discovery of God Is An Astronaut in the past and now it is also true in the case of The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die.
When a band has an unusually long name that is typically a sign of one of two things: this band is horrible and there is no point in bothering with them. Or option “B,” this band is phenomenal and you’re probably more likely to think option “A” and pass them up. I passed on The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die until I found myself on their Facebook page not too long ago. From there, I checked out their latest album Whenever, If Ever and I was instantly blown away. This band’s indie flare and emo-tinged vocals are a driving force behind their music, but their soothing, atmospheric prowess is the real selling point. People have made comparisons in regards to The World Is A Beautiful Place (from here on out referred to as The World Is), but nothing can come close enough to their sound to make a fair comparison.
The band’s latest effort Whenever, If Ever is a brilliant slab of music from start to finish. Like most indie rock bands, and unlike most bands who engage in atmospheric post-elements, The World Is’ songs are relatively short, with only two songs over five minutes, the emo-centric “Heartbeat In The Brain” and the album’s slow-starting bass-driven “Getting Sodas.”
I like that the bands vocal duties are handled by four people rather than one or two, that means the vocals are constantly changing, sometimes sounding similar to Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse, which really hits it home for me. The band utilizes screams at times, but not over-using them, which is something that I can respect in this style of music. The band is also no stranger to bringing in instruments not as often used in this style of music, such as the trumpet in of “Flightboat.”
Getting down to pure songwriting, “Picture Of A Tree That Doesn’t Look Okay” is possibly one of the most well-written songs I have ever heard in my life. It’s slow and it’s smooth at the beginning before jumping pace to a mid-rhythm post-punk style. Everything about this track purveys miles and miles of emotion and I cannot get enough of it. The short but sweet “The Layers Of Skin We Drag Around” is also a favorite of mine because of its gentle approach and gang vocals. Coming in at just over a minute and a half, this track is easily thrown on repeat.
“Gig Life” begins as an acoustic track with drumming present only deep in the background of the song on the right channel. About forty-seconds in, we are greeted by the rest of the instrumentation, bringing the track to a steady climb. The musicianship on this track is brilliant and beautiful through and through. The added-in synth adds even more flare and intensity to this band who already has it all.
I have been listening to Whenever, If Ever for days now and I have yet to tire of it. It’s a stunning album and if you’re in the mood for something chill and relaxing, but you don’t want to go full-on instrumental, you have got to give this album a spin. This is not only one of the best albums I’ve heard this year, it’s one of the best albums I’ve heard this decade. Maybe longer. I am truly in love with The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die. Love.
- Rating: 10/10
- Favorite track: “Picture Of A Tree That Doesn’t Look Okay”, “The Layers Of Skin We Drag Around”