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Album Review

On their own, Eluvium mastermind Matthew Cooper and Explosions in the Sky guitarist Mark T. Smith have explored similar sonic territories in very different ways. Where Eluvium explore the subtlety of gentle soundscapes and textural ambience, EITS favor grandeur, with overwhelming crescendos of emotion breaking through the loneliness of their songs' wide-open spaces. Teaming up as Inventions, the duo create a new identity for themselves on their eponymous debut for Temporary Residence. Not so much merging their individual sounds as finding a middle ground between them, the pair craft a series of melancholic musical plateaus, with each feeling more like a specific moment in time than a rising and falling composition. Rather than fill the song with dynamic builds and cathartic releases, Inventions work in pulses of intensity, capturing a moment and holding on to it like a firefly caught in a jar. In creating these musical still lifes, Inventions have hit on a sound that's more about mesmerism than movement. The real magic, however, is that they've somehow managed to pull this off without making the album powerfully dull. By giving us songs that feel like the middle of something, Inventions leave room for the listener to add their own beginning and ending to the musical narrative, allowing the listener to burrow into the layers of melody to carve out their own safe little space. While the pedigree of this project is certainly strong, Inventions stands strong on its own, so although fans of Eluvium and Explosions in the Sky won't have any trouble digging into the album, being a fan of the duo's previous work isn't a part of the price of admission.

Customer Reviews

The Perfect Marriage

I couldn't believe it when I found out two of the most beautiful music makers were collaborating on something. Sure enough, the album delivers on all levels. This album is so painfully beautiful and full of emotion. I recommend it to anyone with a heart and pair of ears!

Kind of made their own genre

I got "Maze of Woods" first (though it's Inventions' second album), and expected this to be less adventurous. Wrong. These fellows are a huge step up and away from the usual dour tweaker jams; with cogent and dynamic compositions, unusually restrained percussion, very "present" melodies, beautiful sound - all in all, quite a package.


Formed: 2013

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '10s

Inventions began in 2013 as a collaboration between Eluvium's Matthew Cooper and Mark T. Smith of instrumental post-rock band Explosions in the Sky. The two had long been friends and both had albums with their respective bands on the Temporary Residence Ltd. label when Inventions was conceived. Also notably, at the time of Inventions' formation, Cooper hadn't played in the context of anything other than solo output since participating in the obligatory basement punk bands as a teenager, and Smith...
Full Bio
Inventions, Inventions
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Customer Ratings