Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Morning Show with John Richards, is “My Mind Was a Fog…My Heart Became a Bomb” by Hammock from the 2013 album Oblivion Hymns on Hammock Music.
Formed by Nashville guitarists Marc Byrd and Andrew Thompson, Hammock creates emotionally stirring ambient music that skillfully uses post-rock dynamics in a subtly devastating manner. Byrd and Thompson’s original collaborative partnership was sporadic, but from those scattered recordings, the duo pieced together their 2005 debut Kenotic. Executing minimalist dynamics with the loud-yet-quiet precision carried out in the best shoegaze records, the album was a critical success, earning the band a number of fans outside of Nashville. Two of these fans, Alex Somers and Jón Þór (Jónsi) Birgisson (of Sigur Ros), commissioned the duo’s first live performance in Fall 2007, the songs from which mostly comprised 2008’s Maybe They Will Sing For Us Tomorrow. Since the late ’00s, the duo have been increasingly including other musical components in their work, including string and horn sections, glockenspiel, and on their latest album, 2013’s Oblivion Hymns, a children’s choir. Although “My Mind Was a Fog… My Heart Became a Bomb” is primarily based around the duo’s reliably shimmering ambient guitars, it certainly doesn’t lack the grandeur of their more extravagant work. Across the song’s steadily paced, five-minute build, the duo’s pepper chiming notes against the canvas of a looming crescendo. When it’s all over, its effect is, in the post-rock spectrum, more like “Requiem for Dying Mothers” than “First Breath After Coma” – a subtly gradual, but no less stunning reflection that takes its time sinking in.
If the band decide to head out on tour behind Oblivion Hymns, or more likely, make an announcement about new music, that news will be on their website and Facebook. Watch the video for “My Mind Was a Fog… My Heart Became a Bomb” below.