The cover art for Apse’s Spirit is completely spot on. It’s dark, slightly foreboding, indistinct and decidedly rural. The group’s M.O. isn’t that uncommon these days among both post-rock and fringe folk. There’s a plethora of broad swathes painted black with bass rumbles, swells of guitar effects and an undercurrent of silence. It’s not entirely the calming music to select for a hungover Sunday morning, however, despite its more peaceful passages. A percussive force drives nearly every track on here, shaping the ether and carving a pathway for some fiery ascensions in tone and hue. It’s the sort of the progression that wouldn’t sound out of place on either an Explosions in the Sky or Early Day Miners record.
Things go unexpected when vocals are introduced. Like a weird falsetto chorus sung under water, they recall the obscure whisper and yelp of Animal Collective. It proves to be a fitting marriage of sound, with the ghostly vocal trail meshing perfectly with the primeval sounds wrung out on the instruments. It’s a fairly untrod path they’re leading and their journey thus far has been completely rewarding.