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Toma – As We Fall Into Static Our Hearts Sing

Around the beginning of the century, the evolution of post-rock from the ’90s had experienced the glorified peak of its existence. Most people will always recall their first listen with the scene’s influential act Godspeed You! Black Emperor. For those who have stuck with the genre and watched as countless bands have emerged to expand on the ideas of their ancestors, there is an immediate distinction that the genre itself is becoming dangerously homogenous. Personally, I have found myself slowly slipping away from this particular style of music recently, after several years of passionate listening. To be fair, I’ve never enjoyed the term post-rock being thrown around all the time, but it becomes a necessity nowadays to swiftly describe the style of music at hand. Only releases this year from Gifts From Enola, Tortoise, And So I Watch You From Afar, and The Appleseed Cast have quenched my thirst for anything new from the continual barrage of post-rock bands. However, As We Fall Into Static Our Hearts Sing has reassured me of another band who is defying the stale image of the steady decline of post-rock music.

Tom Adams is a young British musician who, after becoming enamored with Sigur Ros’ Takk and the aforementioned GY!BE, decided to form his very own post-rock campaign, Toma. After a self-released debut and a follow-up, which can both be listened to for free at Wise Owl Records’ website, we have his latest venture. The album art, while seemingly typical for a post-rock release in its aesthetics, is most certainly a tribute to his time well spent in the natural beauty of Iceland, prior to his full year of studying back in Britain, which produced this noteworthy collection of fresh, epic tones. It could even be said that the new album is a fresh wakeup call to the post-rock community, like a warm home newly restored from the verge of near decay.

One of the most enjoyable features of the album is the training of his voice to install intense emotion into the listener. While “This Day” conjures up vocal memories of notable shoegaze acts, the following track has a dark, ominous, yet clear message: this is the end of everything. The piano couldn’t have been more of an accompanying addition to his dark display of poetry. Quite possibly the record’s most powerful, emotive track, however, is “Terrorforming”, introducing a steady piano background that is quickly overcome by a swirl of noise through heavily distorted guitars, to build up to one of this year’s most climactic experiences in music. His words depict a city at night, most nearly on the brink of total uncontrollable chaos. The city is deserted. Fire exploding in the sky. The night is when it’s dangerous. While the vocals are a welcome and essential attribute of each and every track they are used on, this is where Tom’s voice truly shines, crying out a warning to those lost in the night. If I were required to make one solitary complaint about the track, it is that it’s curtailed a bit too early. I’m not saying it is cut off like The Evpatoria Report did in one of their tracks on Golevka either. It just would have been really great to hear Toma expand more on this beautifully layered song.

From the beginning the influences are apparent, yet unlike many acts of today, delicate and sincere. Dabbling more into piano on the latter half of the album, Toma displays his quieter, more emotional side on tracks like “Christmas At Home”. Rounding out the end of this forty-minute masterful album lies the stringed beauty of “The Perfect Harmony”, an ode to his fascination with music’s ability to create the sincerest of raw emotion and harmony. As We Fall… is a stunningly beautiful collection of heavy shoegaze, modern classical, and subtle post-rock influences, easily falling into line with some of the best music released all year.

Brett Hayes – The Silent Ballet

One Comment, Comment or Ping

  1. Nathan

    Toma is absolutely amazing. I thought these guys would be big names. I downloaded the album on a fluke and it’s been at the top of my playlist for the last month.

    Big ups guys, amazing sound

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