It’s fair to say that Ireland’s instrumental experimentalists God Is An Astronaut have been around the block a few times. Their latest offering “Ghost Tapes #10” is their 10th album and sees piano and guitar wizard Jamie Dean return to the fold.
Instrumental bands like this tend to polarise people into two camps; those that dislike instrumental groups and those (like me) who love the emotive soundscapes such bands can weave. It is with a happy heart that I can say that those who love this sort of thing will not be disappointed.
From the angular dissonance of Adrift through to the emotional storm swept Burial GIAA are on top form; their music, sans lyrics, allowing the listener the freedom to choose for themselves the emotions they experience. Less ‘songs’ and more sonic soundscapes, In Flux swings wildly between lush blues-esque guitar licks and frenetic jarring with Spectre carrying in the same vein. Both startlingly apt, given the past year.
Fade sweeps and swirls around the listener and Barren Trees is just one 4 minute slab of emotional brilliance bolstered by the additional guitar of Jimmy Scanlan. Album closer Luminous Waves drips with clean guitar overlaid with splashes of delicious cello work courtesy of Jo Quail and offers the perfect closer to a banger of an album.
Ghost Tapes #10 may be a departure from their last album but once again, God Is An Astronaut knock this one out of the park.
Ghost Tapes #10 was released 12th February 2021 via Napalm Records.
3: In Flux
6: Barren Trees
7: Luminous Waves