Artist Of The Week - Anchor & Braille

It's been about three years since we've gotten an album from Anchor & Braille, the indie side project of Anberlin's Stephen Christian, but this week, on July 31st, the band's sophomore album will be released. The Quiet Life is a collection of haunting melodies and catchy percussion, certainly a maturation of sound since 2009's Felt. The Quiet Life is available now in stores and online through Tooth & Nail Records.


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Artist: A Hope For Home
Album: In Abstraction
Release Date: December 6, 2011
Label: Facedown Records

Let me be completely honest, I didn’t have an easy time writing this. Probably the reason it’s coming so incredibly late. Also, when you personally know a few of the members, it makes it a bit difficult to not be bias. It’s especially hard when one of their mother’s was your 5th grade teacher, and was far too kind to you when you least deserved it. When a band releases an album that takes this long to review, you know it has something about it that makes it “special”. A Hope For Home has been a familiar name with me for many, many years. I remember seeing them back when they were just a local band, and had just started playing shows, and they did strange things with their guitars, like using a violin bow to make eerie sounds. But fast forward 5 years, and now you have one of Facedown Records most well known bands, and to be frank, one of the most mature sounding bands ever on the roster.

In Abstraction is art. It’s not just simply music, and I don’t think the boys in A Hope For Home would have it any other way. From the first listen you immediately hear a change in sound from their previous albums, but not at all a retreat from their aggressiveness. The music is very ambient, and gives of an Explosions In The Sky vibe, but then when the vocals cut in, and it evolves in to more of a Cult Of Luna sound. This sound continues for the entire album, it never really fluctuates, which is where I feel it loses a lot of listeners. This album can be described as a mood album, an album that you have to been in a certain type of mind set to fully grasp everything it has to offer.

Lyrically, I think this is the albums strongest factor. Nathan Winchell’s lyrics have always been a huge part of A Hope For Home, and nothing has changed with In Abstraction. If anything, they have gotten more deep, and visual. The lyrics really focus on a spiritual connection with nature, and how we as humans find God in his creations, whether it’s the roaring ocean, the rigid mountains, or the vastness of space, we can find Him just by observing these elements. For me personally, I love the visuals that they give through the lyrics, and how well they mix with the instrumentals.

Overall: In Abstraction is a concept album, so it’s hard to do a track by track review of it. I think A Hope For Home has found a sound that really defines who they are as a band. Some won’t find enjoyment of the “new” sound, but some need it. Though it is only 7 songs long, there isn’t a song that is under 5 minutes, and another factor that plays in to the listener’s longevity. I urge you to give this album a shot, or at least read the lyrics. You won’t regret either. Recommended for fans of: Hands, Russian Circles, Cult of Luna; post-rock bands.

Rating: 8/10

Reviewed by Tabor Brown


  1. Calm
  2. Out Of Ruin, Misery
  3. Firewind
  4. Tides
  5. The House Where You Were Born
  6. Weaved
  7. Everything That Rises Must Converge

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