Premiere: Shapes In The Water Reach For The Stars On New Album, Reinvent The Sun

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The foundation of our world rests on audacious pledges. From eradicating cancer and reaching Mars to achieving global harmony, these promises drive progress and foster hope in our daily endeavors. While some goals, like ending world hunger, appear attainable by transcending antiquated free-market ideologies, others, like achieving absolute carbon neutrality, necessitate intricate and sustained endeavors beyond what most can readily digest. Yet, even in unmet promises, progress persists. Unintended breakthroughs and heightened awareness propel society forward, enriching our understanding and interactions with the world, ultimately benefiting all. In this sense, making a bold promise can be viewed as a catalyst for advancement of all types–societally, personally, or even artistically.

For local ensemble Shapes In The Water, that bold promise manifests as a reimagining of our energy source, our gravitational center, and our essence of life. On their new record, Reinvent The Sun, the band lays down the gauntlet with not just reimagining a useful and pioneering invention, like the wheel, but revamping an enduring celestial component that is essential to everything that has ever happened in and on our world. Of course, this is a literal impression of the album’s title, but one that definitely guides the palpable musical territory the band has fashioned on this remarkable record. Stark yet comforting, dire yet inspiring, it’s a sonic world full of personal adventure, one where every stray inflection point can bring new clarity to long-settled deliberations, offering a chance to ponder and reflect in a transformative manner. Out everywhere on Friday, May 10th, The Auricular is proud to premiere this cathartic record today with an exclusive stream below and insight into its intense resonance.


Reinvent The Sun marks Shapes In The Water’s third overall record, second full-length album, and first under the current four-person line-up. Before this, in 2019, the band released We Were Giants Once, a piercing six-track album predominantly crafted by Andrew Inge and Josh Kelley. Following this, they presented the four-track EP Acedia in 2021, featuring the same lineup that further tweaked and tempered the keen sound. However, shortly afterward, the band expanded from a dedicated two-piece to a versatile four-piece, welcoming the talents of Jack Sullivan and Mike Perlowski, the latter of whom had originally recorded additional instrumentation for We Were Giants Once.

Now operating as a tightly knit quartet, Shapes In The Water isn’t simply reshaping their sound; they’re honing it to perfection. They even took the bold step of re-recording the opening track of We Were Giants Once, “Gold,” amplifying the visceral energy and longing tone the song so beautifully captured in 2019. The original version featured Kelley, Inge, and Perlowski, all of whom share a history as members of From Fragile Seeds, a band playfully self-described as “post-post-hardcore, pre-post-rock,” encapsulating their intricate yet captivating style. However, with Shapes In The Water, they enhance that essence into a dynamic fusion of emo and post-rock, offering a more concise yet equally thrilling sound. Sullivan, known for being the driving force behind shoegaze project Always, Other, helps to further elaborate and polish this sound with his textural richness and emotive execution at the core of each new recording.

Thrilling. Piercing. Engrossing. Commanding. These are powerful descriptors that come to mind as the eight tracks on Reinvent The Sun play out, each delving into a new fixture of the record’s recondite soundscape with novel fascination and original awareness. Like any worthwhile musical terrain, the band adds a great deal of melodic definition to the surroundings, not just by constructing highs and lows, but also by providing unexpected twists and turns within the pinnacle climb and depth plunge.

In the crests, the band impresses with breathtaking release, channeling accumulated tension into something profoundly moving that becomes beautiful in its heartache and anguish, like in the iridescent emotion of “Haunted.” However, it’s truly in the nadir of songs like “Nomads” where the band shines, shaping and sculpting anxieties, insecurities, and sorrows into poignant melodies, compelling rhythms, and evocative lyrics that intensify the overall tension. It’s an experience you wouldn’t want to shy away from, even if given the chance.

With such rich emotion and breathtaking skill guiding each composition, none of the eight tracks will disappoint in any way, shape, or form. Choosing favorites between stand-out songs like “Homesick” and “Signal Fire” ultimately depends on where your mind wanders to the moment you press play. However, the true essence of the record unfolds when experienced as a cohesive whole. The tracks seamlessly inhale and exhale into one another, displaying both eager endurance and weathered exuberance that elevates the album above typical post-rock offerings. Only in the closing moments does the band adhere to the conventional diffuse structure of post-rock. Yet, after a series of effortlessly digestible tracks, this departure maintains the same clarity and intent as the rest of the record, solidifying it as a captivating album experience from beginning to end.

Overall, Shapes In The Water do not reinvent the sun here, but they do expose more of its importance and value, offering detail into its revitializing glow and comfort into its lonely abscence. As they strive to fulfill that bold promise, the band doesn’t disappoint in any aspect. On the contrary, they exceed expectations with remarkable emotional ambition, elevating their striking artistry to new, towering heights. From that vantage point, nothing should be seen as “falling short” or “coming up empty,” but with songs like this, we can expect the band is still looking upward with their music… and we can’t wait to see how high they climb next.

Reinvent The Sun is out everywhere on Friday, May 10th, which you can pre-save now by clicking here. To stay up to date on future releases and announcements from the band, make sure to follow them on social media by clicking here.


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