Stream: Fishing The Sky - Thank You (2012)
Fishing The Sky is Rob Hughes, a Massachusetts-based musician and a true DIY workhorse. As the project’s figurehead, he sequences and performs everything himself — a staggering accomplishment given the nature of his music. If the Appleseed Cast-referencing name of his project wasn’t suggestive enough, Fishing The Sky plays electronic-influenced post-rock, a dynamic and electrifying style of music that is well represented on their new album, the plainly titled Thank You.
It may be a little too early for Hughes to start thanking people, as he is very much still in the process of establishing himself as a musician, but perhaps the record’s title is meant to be preemptive. He’s thanking you (yes you), along with anybody else who takes the time at some point to listen to and enjoy his music. It’s an upfront expression of simple sincerity that sticks out in the generally cold and distant world of post-rock music.
But don’t let the title fool you; this music is anything but simple. Hughes describes his own sound as “Explosions in the Sky meets The Postal Service,” and although Thank You lacks the interwoven guitar harmonics of the former band, it manages to procure that same sense of cathartic wonder through different means. Chilly keys, electronic beats, unobtrusive guitar melodies provide an instrumental framework for the majority of the album’s four tracks, while Hughes’ manic, math-rock influenced percussion almosts acts as a lead instrument. The album’s best moments often come when the ominous, distorted bass guitar kicks in and plays in tandem with the drums, particularly in the pulse-pounding final minute of the opener “Hope You Like Beer!” and at the end of the lengthy closing track “Whitney in F#.” The Postal Service/Dntel influence makes itself most apparent on “You Just Got Niced!,” which features delightfully glitchy beats clicking along as if they were crafted by Jimmy Tamborello himself.
Prior to listening to this record, the first thing that you notice about Thank You might be its song titles. I get the feeling that a typical post-rock fan would scoff at a song called “Hope you Like Beer!” or “Life Is Weird, Dude,” but maybe that’s the point. To me, it’s actually refreshing to see a post-rock act that doesn’t take itself so seriously. Fishing the Sky doesn’t need to; these four pieces stand on their own without the accoutrements that post-rock tends to have. ‘Meaningful’ song titles or not, Thank You is worthy of all the praise that its title preemptively acknowledges. At just under 30 minutes, the album does away with another post-rock cliche as well; it won’t take up half your day to listen to it.
Stream Thank You above for free, and purchase the digital version of the album at the Fishing The Sky bandcamp page. If you’d like a physical copy, head over to their bigcartel page and buy a handmade CD for $8.