BAND OF HORSES
CEASE TO BEGIN (SUB POP)
Released in March of 2006, Band of Horses' debut Everything All the Time made good on the promise hinted at in their early shows and demos.
The band went from early shows opening for friends Iron & Wine, to playing on The Late Show with David Letterman by July, and being nominated as one of ten finalists (along with Joanna Newsom, Beirut, Tom Waits, and, the eventual winner, Cat Power) for the Shortlist Music Prize for that same year.
And the record was well-received critically, with celebratory press in Spin, Entertainment Weekly, NY Times, Harp, Billboard, Pitchfork, Magnet, NME, Uncut, and a slew of others.
Not a bad place to start. For a lot of reasons, Cease to Begin is the perfect title for this new record.
Not only do the songs themselves weave this theme through the record, but stopping and starting anew is also a reflection of the past year and a half for Band of Horses.
Though they worked with producer Phil Ek again, as they did on Everything All the Time, much has changed between the fairly recent then and now.
There have been band members who have come and gone, including Mat Brooke, who left the band to pursue other interests and his own band.
For core members Ben Bridwell, Rob Hampton and Creighton Barrett, there has been a move from Seattle, WA to Mt.
Pleasant, SC, a relocation that had been planned for some time so that they could all be closer to their families.
And, close friends and family have come and gone-some far too early. Necessarily shot through with these experiences, the songs on Cease to Begin are strikingly beautiful, if less elliptical and more straightforward, with more sophisticated arrangements than the last record.