“And when our voices fail us we will find new ways to sing.
When our bodies fail we’ll find joy in the peace that it brings.
The world is a beautiful place but we have to make it that way.
Whenever you find home we’ll make it more than just a shelter.
And if everyone belongs there it will hold us all together.
If you’re afraid to die, then so am I.”
The World Is a Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die, Whenever,If Ever
Lately I’ve been getting lost in the atmosphere, a conscious decision but a natural one. This morning I am hard pressed to find a band with a better grip on what it means to do this than The World Is a Beautiful Place and I am No Longer Afraid to Die. The post-rock swells and elaborate guitar parts build and decorate emotional weight. While their sound captures many tropes and styles of emo indie rock spanning decades, TWIABP feels larger than that label implies. They are as dramatic and grand as their name promises.
Instrumentally, they work in textures light and dark, floating as often as they come crashing down. I love the rhythm section’s work on their 2013 debut LP “Whenever, If Ever,” playing with beat-focused intros as much as they sit back and let the guitar carry the climax. I love how Thomas Diaz choose to sing and shout, I love how scattered he seems and the way his words so often seem to cry out in hopeless recognition. He is as conversational as he is reflective, in the way early Death Cab for Cutie is, blending scenes of trees, cars and bedrooms with self-aware revelations on being alone, flawed, or human. The most memorable lines, I think, come from the latter, and they are placed to be shown off. Frequent use of group vocals add to the highlights, a vital layer in the expanse. But I’m not really listening to this band for its words, so much as I am seeing where they fit, how they fit, inside this greater interchange of sounds.
For all their intensity, these songs are only so aggressive, they are too melodic to be thrashy. Timing is constantly played with, creating dynamic moments. Songs that begin in the world of echo-y, measured melody then pause for a string solo, and pound out a sped-up, cymbal-colored chorus before building a long, slow bridge to the end. In many ways,these are songs atypical in structure, and I think that is what makes them so good for deep, lost listening. They meander, in a way perfectly paired with ponderous, sad thoughts of being a wreck and being alone.
I can see why this band is often polarizing, I can see why people wouldn’t “get it,” and I could see why one wouldn’t want to subject their ears to something that is at times disorganized and strange on its way to finding moments of captured, heightened beauty. But what a journey that is to take.
“No, we aren’t ghosts.
Even ghosts have a home to haunt.
No, we aren’t ghosts.
We open doors and we shed our skin.
No, we aren’t ghosts.
Open your windows and let us in.”
~I Will Be Ok. Everything.
The World Is a Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die, Are Here To Help You (Split w//Deer Leap)