And So I Watch You From Afar - "Terrors of Pleasure" (audio) (premiere)

With "Terrors of Pleasure", Belfast's instrumental adventurists And So I Watch You From Afar put on a dazzling clinic of rhythmic dexterity.

With the four studio albums they have to their name so far, Belfast's own And So I Watch You From Afar have perfected an instrumental playbook whose mantra requires a lot out of these musicians. Just about every one of And So I Watch You From Afar's songs involves the band tying itself into a series of seemingly irresolvable knots, with tricky time signatures and zip-fast guitar leads coalescing into mind-rattling figures. Yet by the end of each song, the quartet finds its way out. That is a rare act that makes a conservatory-worthy music clinic sound like an absolute blast; for a band of this caliber, it's easy to indulge in time signatures as an end in of themselves, but these guys have figured out how to make instrumental prowess and infectious songwriting go hand in hand.

These things hold true on The Endless Shimmering, And So I Watch You From Afar's fifth studio outing. Recorded over nine days in Rhode Island during a snowstorm that forced the group to concentrate all its energy on the studio, whether they wanted to or not. (They, of course, did.) PopMatters is happy to premiere "Terrors of Pleasure", one of the fruits of those recording sessions, a characteristically intricate song that's always two steps ahead of the listener, ready to throw the most insane -- and fun -- musical curveballs. Spindly guitar leads give way to crushing power chords and sprightly drum stops. It's a lot to fit into five minutes, but with these chaps, it sounds effortless.

Guitarist Rory Friers says of the song, “I remember the day this track started to really come together, my brother was coming up to our rehearsal space to pick up some equipment. When he arrived he asked us to play him something new, so we started playing ‘Terrors of Pleasure’. When it kicked into the big middle section, I turned around and he was laughing and straight away I knew we were making a good song.”

The Endless Shimmering will be released digitally and physically by Sargent House on October 20th.


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