Band of Horses' latest release "Infinite Arms" is quite a surprise, with subtle changes to their sound while making their most cohesive record to date. Gone are the building epics that fans are used to (Is There A Ghost, The Funeral), and for the most part so is anything with a upbeat tempo. The opener "Factory" lays the groundwork for the album with aspects continuously appearing later on. One that is unmistakable is the mention of specific locations or the idea of traveling. We find ourselves in hotels, apartments, speaking of log cabins and the difference between a house and a home. A catalog of places that we've found to escape or get over a relationship gone wrong. It's obvious that somewhere on this journey, a relationship that lasted too long has finally given up.
This is where Band of Horses is at their best. Ben Bridwell has a voice that oozes emotion and regret. Two highlights are "Blue Beard" and "Evening Kitchen", the latter being as blatantly honest as Death Cab for Cutie's "The Ice is Getting Thinner" about the inevitability of the end... "And if you're ever left with any doubt/What you live with and what you'll do without/I'm only sorry that it took so long to figure out". "Blue Beard" is by far the best song of the album, a song filled with questions and very little answers. A song that finds comfort in the words "I don't know". That might be the beauty of the record. Knowing that you reached the end, but something else is on the horizon. At no point does the album drag you down, instead it just lets you know that everyone goes through this, just not as beautifully sounding as this band.
Infinite Arms is out May 18th, and the band is opening for Pearl Jam on a few Midwest dates. I'll be front and center at the Verizon Wireless Music Center in Indianapolis next week. Check out the album preview below and please catch them if you can.