Bask’s North Carolinian Post-Rock Wanders Through “Graveyard Fields” (Video Premiere)
Back in 2017, I simply couldn't get enough of North Carolina psych-heartland rockers Bask's sophomore album Ramble Beyond. To my ears, that album captured the purest essence of living in the mountains of Western North Carolina, sort of in the same way that Panopticon captured the purest essence of living in Kentucky. Big riffs, soaring voices, and cavernous drums mixed seamlessly with blues and bluegrass influenced guitar work, and the patience of a post-rock band in letting songs gather steam and then release.
Five years later (fuck, it has been half a damn decade since then. Life is short, my friends!) Bask have graced us with a new single that is a deep cut from the Ramble Beyond sessions. "Graveyard Fields" was not included on the final album, but is now being released as a stand-alone single on Self Aware Records.
First off, the song itself is truly great, a full-on post-rock space ride that takes you to the doors of infinity and then gently lets you off, in the spirit of all good psychedelics. It's patient and very slow, entirely instrumental, but cohesive and well-practiced. Take the time to really listen to the tonal choices and the way the band uses the slow tempo to really make every note meaningful. It's like jazz in a sense: the music itself is a story, regardless of any vocals.
However, in addition to the song comes an accompanying music video, and damn is it beautiful! Directed by Garrett Williams, it's a simple concept, consisting of a series of long tracking shots via drone over a number of Western North Carolina landscapes, but in its simplicity comes its genius. I will admit to a personal bias in that I dearly love the subject matter, having lived in Swannanoa and Asheville for seven years total before moving up north, but you can't deny that it is an objectively beautiful region, and these sumptuous tracking shots combine with the slow, irresistible build of the song to deliver a complete audiovisual experience. Watch it here with our premiere:
There's few other places quite like Western North Carolina as far as vistas and also cultural zeitgeist, a reverance for things long past and ancient while also starting to look to new futures built upon the spirits of the old. "Graveyard Fields" is an apt title not simply for its location, (an old-growth spruce-fir forest whose windthrown stumps resembled a cemetary, at least until it burned in 1925) but in that it evokes a sort of "hiraeth," like you're seeing the past slowly stride into the distance, music for long orange evenings spent upon cold mountaintops or in warm valleys. Just look at the cover if you need proof, all that mist rolling in through old hollers and across windswept peaks.
What more can I say? The track is lovely, the video is perfect to a T, the vibes are exquisite, what's not to love? Plus, they've got some awesome vinyl for the analog listener, available in neon green, purple, and pink with the classic "key" design printed on the B-side. Seriously though, do yourself a favor and take six and a half minutes to watch the whole video, preferably with good headphones or on a big sound system. Even if you've never been to the Old North State in your life, I guarantee it'll feel like home to you too.
"Graveyard Fields" can be pre-ordered now via Self Aware Records and will release on May 27th.