Band Of Horses Mirage Rock 608x608 Mirage Rock by Band of Horses

Allow me to start with a quick note: Three singles from Band of Horses Mirage Rock have already been released: Knock Knock, Slow Cruel Hands of Time and Dumpster World. Although the group currently offers a free, full-length stream of the album online, four of the five tracks that the band self-produced at Sonic Ranch Studios in El Paso, Texas are unavailable  —  unless fans happen to snag a deluxe edition of Mirage Rock. Strangely, the album’s title track only appears on the deluxe edition.

Now, let’s begin:

Released today, Mirage Rock, the fourth studio LP from Charleston-based Band of Horses is rough, raw and loose — everything you’d want to hear on a southern indie rock album.

The record in its entirety is simple but surprisingly, it’s all so catchy. When I heard Knock Knock, for example, I felt the sudden urge to have a solo dance party. The perfect opener for the album, it’s full of energy and showcases the group’s signature southern-style vocals (also see Slow Cruel Hands of Time, Dumpster World and Feud for more of the same). Electric Music, my personal fave, has the same solo-dance-party effect — perhaps even more so. Both, I’m certain, would sound amazing live.

For the sake of handy ‘sounds-like’ references, you’ll hear Eagles (Electric Music), Blue Rodeo (Slow Cruel Hand of Time), America (Dumpster World) and Neil Young (Long Vowels) on Mirage Rock, and this could be why the album such a great listen for me.  Classic rock-n-roll sounds paying homage to past greats combined with a fresh, modern approach makes Band of Horses’ Mirage Rock a force to be reckoned with…I reckon.

Gorgeous final track, Heartbreak 101, is a raw ballad; airy, rough and vulnerable with natural vibrato. It’s emotional, dynamic but ultimate heavy, making it a strange choice for a closer in my eyes. I prefer to start and end on a strong note.

Overall, Mirage Rock is full of simple, basic structures that are effectively manipulated and a fusion of sounds, both new and old, southern and indie. I can see this becoming my fall soundtrack as I drive back home to rural Canada this coming Thanksgiving. Band of Horses’ Mirage Rock is fun, raw, honest, humorous…and gorgeous.

I’m interested in hearing those secret, deluxe bonus tracks now.

By Erin Torrance, a recent Publishing graduate venturing into the world of music. Erin lives in a flea-market chic apartment in Toronto with the love of her life and best friend — her cat Bea.


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