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Explosions in the Sky want their new album to terrify you

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Nick Simonite

Explosions in the Sky‘s latest album is called The Wilderness, but — fortunately for the band’s members — wasn’t inspired by any crazy experiences in nature. “We didn’t have a Revenanttype of situation or anything like that,” drummer Chris Hrasky tells EW of the album, due out April 1. “We just wanted the record to feel like some sort of unexpected journey into something where things don’t go the way you think they’re going to go.”

And the way it goes is sometimes a bit frightening. Hrasky says the Texas band looked to composer György Ligeti, a frequent Stanley Kubrick collaborator who contributed music to movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey, for inspiration. “His stuff is really intense and pretty scary-sounding,” Hrasky explains. “Music that makes you feel like you’re about to lose your mind, or something really terrible is about to happen to you. We wanted to incorporate that type of feeling but at the same time have the songs be melodic. We want to have beautiful things, but we also just want this record to feel at points terrifying.”

One song that incorporates that feeling is the already released “Logic of a Dream,” which Hrasky describes as “a thing that feels like Ligeti to a thing that feels like Fleetwood Mac.” “It shouldn’t work,” he says. “It’s really kind of intense and pretty heavy and maybe unpleasant and then it sort of evaporates into this almost ’70s rock, like light rock. And it doesn’t feel totally jarring and wrong. I’m pretty proud of that.”

In other words, the tracks on Wilderness probably wouldn’t fit in on, say, the Explosions-penned soundtrack to 2004’s Friday Night Lights. “I don’t know if anything off this record will be used in rousing sports montages,” Hrasky says with a laugh. “It seems a little stranger to me. But hopefully still engaging.”

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