Tag Archives: sugarplumferry

Soundtrack of Life: Post-Rock

Post-Rock is this amazing sub-genre of rock where the songs are often more than 7 minutes long, and there are (usually) no vocals. The best way I can describe it is ‘Instrumental rock music with each song a composition and a story in itself. There is no need for words, as the music evokes all the emotions.’

I came across this music all by chance, as I was browsing this page, which is wonderful for introducing yourself to new music. The very first song I listened to was ‘Your hand in mine – Explosions in the Sky’. I must confess, the first time I played it, I played it through the laptop speakers – needless to say, I wasn’t very impressed. Shortly after though, I decided I’d give it a second go, and put on my headphones. I was blown away. Honestly, there is no way to describe what went on in my mind in those moments. I had never heard this song before, but listening to it properly for the first time brought me to many places in my mind, unlocked many memories, and stirred up a whirlwind of emotions like few songs had done before.

It was at that moment I felt a connection to that song – it moved my soul. Similar to being on a motorcycle, this was something beyond expression – it was just a feeling, but a strong, primal undercurrent, coursing through my veins.

That was one year ago, and I have since discovered a handful of bands which I listen to almost on a daily basis. The amazing thing about their music is that it can be played in almost any situation, and it can evoke different emotions depending on the setting. I’ve listened to post-rock while working out, while driving, while riding, while writing, while hiking; the one similarity the bands have is that their compositions have the ability to draw you into the moment, regardless of where you are.

After discovering this music, I often found myself with my headphones on listening to these songs, time just ticking away into the night. Of course, it does help if you have a good set of headphones which bring the sounds to life – but that’s another topic for another day.

For me, one of my favourite things to do is having this music playing while out riding my motorcycle at night, just cruising the empty roads with this in my head, letting my mind wander – the combination of this music freeing my mind, while the motorcycle frees my body – it’s pure magic, a unique experience like no other I’ve come across so far.

Everything in the world feels right in those moments; these are the some of the soundtracks of life.

In this vein, I’d like to introduce you to some of my favourite bands. Please follow the links to my favourite album of that band and give it a listen! And definitely support the bands if you like them.

I’m going to the MONO concert in December, so you can expect a post on that after I’ve gone.

Explosions in the Sky – The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place
MONO – Hymn To The Immortal Wind
This Will Destroy You – Self Titled
Sugar Plum Ferry – 金光之鄉
God Is An Astronaut – All is Violent, All is Bright
Mooncake – Lagrange Points

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Musing: Those moments

This one’s going to be slightly tangential, drifting, and philosophical – A.K.A this might mean nothing to you.

Today, I had one of those moments; where everything just feels right, and there were no worries on your mind, and you were just in the moment doing what you loved. Let me set the scene. I’m a burger lover, and today I woke up with one thing on my mind for lunch: a nice juicy burger (or two). So off I went to the shopping centre and bought all the ingredients; some nice chuck steak, lettuce, cheese – and to top it off, I found brioche burger buns after searching for months. I knew it was going to be good today. As I set off home, the sun was shining, the breeze was slightly cool and very refreshing – i didn’t care for traffic at all, just took my time.

After getting home, I get myself setup. I love to cook – I just love the process of it all, and of course, the result – but sometimes I think I love cooking more than eating itself, and if you knew me then that’d tell you something. I bring out my speaker and attach it to my phone, and choose my playlist. This week, I have absolutely been listening to one thing only – 甜梅號 (Sugar Plum Ferry), a post-rock band from Taiwan (discovered them through KKBOX, which is a story for another day!). With nobody else at home, I turned it up full blast. I love to cook, and I love to sing (I may not be very good at either, but I love both nonetheless), and one thing I love even more – cooking and singing at the same time. It just soothes the soul.

Anyway, I digress, because Sugar Plum Ferry’s songs don’t have lyrics. They don’t need lyrics, because their songs speak to the soul like no words can. And as I was dicing, seasoning and mincing the beef, I rocked out with not a care in the world, not a worry, not a feeling of urgency. Just going at my own pace, enjoying the moment. It was in those moments that I felt peaceful and happy, and content. I’m struggling to fully express what I felt with words, because I just can’t seem to frame it correctly with words. I was listening to music I loved, I was making food I loved, I was looking forward to eating it, I had a full day ahead to do whatever I wanted. After some recent turbulent times, this was exactly what I needed, and I had it.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that we’re often so busy with our work, social engagements, and various other responsibilities and commitments to even sit down and tend to ourselves. You know how sometimes you’re just sitting outside and a bird lands nearby and it starts to preen and clean itself? Let’s take that as a metaphor for our psychological wellbeing – sometimes we just need to stop flying, get on the ground and have a break and get the dirt off, straighten our feathers before we go fly again.

So in the end, what is my point? I’m not sure, because I can’t really sum it up either. I just wanted to write out my thoughts on this day as I haven’t enjoyed a day like this in a while.

Oh I realised I still haven’t finished telling my story. So, I rocked out, riding the symphony in my mind like a surfer rises to the crest of the wave and cruises through the barrel – it was one of those surreal moments. I made my burger, sat down, ate them both, and let the music continue. I sat there for a while, basking in the sunlight with a full stomach, happy ears, and a peaceful mind. There was nothing else I wanted, and nothing else that could be given to me to make me more content that I was at that moment. It was more than that though. I just enjoyed the process of everything I’d just done, so much that even if it tired me out, I didn’t feel it.

And then I returned to reality – I had to wash the dishes. I hate washing the dishes.

Photo credits: taken by skyline at 橋頭海攤公園 (Chiao Tou Beach Park), 台南,台灣 (Tainan, Taiwan).