Band of Horses

Cease to Begin (Sub Pop)

Phases & Stages

Band of Horses

Cease to Begin (Sub Pop)

"Wheeling through an endless fog, we are the ever-living ghost of what once was," chimes Ben Bridwell on "No One's Gonna Love You," encapsulating the liminal tension between memory and reality that pulls continually within Band of Horses follow-up to last year's sublime Everything All the Time. With Bridwell returning to his South Carolina roots to record, Cease to Begin struggles with a tenuous reconciliation of past and present. The wilting, melancholic reverb of opener "Is There a Ghost" breaks against a surge of guitars and casts lines like "The world's such a wonderful place" in "Ode to LRC" as more hesitant plea than affirmation. The upbeat lilt of "The General Specific" and crash of "Cigarettes, Wedding Bands" balance the delicateness of "Detlef Schrempf." "No revelations in the water, no tears into the booze," Bridwell imparts in closer "Window Blues," but Band of Horses keeps demonstrating both.

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