The new Grails album Deep Politics, from which I shared an awesome video recently, has now been released and as expected it's absolutely superb. If my word on the matter doesn't count for much, and I suspect that it doesn't, you can listen to it streaming here and decide for yourself. You even get the bonus of an amusing commentary by Emil Amos to accompany each song.
As I discovered today while I listened to it through headphones on my way to and from work, this is one of those albums that has the ability to elevate the way you perceive almost everything around you to a whole new level: the junkie lady you see every day on the tram suddenly wears an indescribable sadness on her face, the drunk meatheads on Chapel Street seem more hostile and sinister than usual, and the sun coming through the trees or the sight of a kid rolling down a hill in the park feel somehow profoundly beautiful. Inspired in part by a love of long-forgotten library records, these lush instrumental songs are like the soundtrack for a movie that's playing out in front of you in realtime, with no script and no direction - just pure atmosphere.
Something about the use of piano and strings together on several of these tracks is completely magical to me, particularly as they're instruments I'm not usually fond of; Daughters of Bilitis has been stubbornly stuck in my head since the day I first heard it. I think the thrill of discovering a love for something I didn't know I had, and hearing something unlike anything I've heard before, might be what makes this band so special to me.
Buy the album here.