Balmorhea (pronounced Bal-more-ay) is a six-piece instrumental group from Austin, TX. Founded by Rob Lowe and Michael Muller in 2006, the band has produced five full-length albums, including Stranger, which was released in October 2012.
Inceptually influenced by the band’s namesake, a tiny West Texas town of 500 people, Balmorhea’s early work reflected motifs of the American Southwest: the folklore of Texas settlers, the emotive proclamations of the mountainous setting, and intimate studies on solitude, nature, and night. Slowly adding more members to the band over the years, including a string section and full percussion, Balmorhea’s rich and layered music continues to be simultaneously concise and complex, uniting a collection of ideas, textures, and sounds into one genre-defying landscape.
Balmorhea, called “an exemplary experiment in restraint” by The New Yorker, has toured the US and Europe six times each, including shows with Tortoise, Fleet Foxes, Mono, Bear in Heaven, Sharon Van Etten, Damien Jurado, Efterklang, and others. Additionally the band has performed at Austin City Limits Music Festival, SXSW, Fun Fun Fun Fest, and the Hopscotch Festival. Their music has been featured and reviewed by Pitchfork, BBC, MOJO, NME, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, and many more.
The band traces an infinite, gorgeous desert horizon with its songs, filling in the spaces with the peaks of co-leader Rob Lowe's piano, the low rumble of cellos, and the inevitable realization of man's insignificance in the face of nature. This—not steak finger baskets or soft-serve ice cream—is what you should like about Texas.
Balmorhea flashes brilliance only to highlight a slow-burning constancy that's at the core of one of the year's early slow wonders.
Austin chamber-gloomsters cast a skeletal shadow over the reverent, still audience...
Constellations is an album drastically and magnificently out-of-step with the modern world... a work of exquisite beauty, coming from a group that grows by leaps and bounds with every release.
etched out in plaintive ivory and sumptuous string swells, while a deftly plucked banjo anchors the prevailing air of authenticity to the sturdy foundations of tradition... this work will reveal its shimmering tributaries that break from the main body of water like precious secrets, stretching for the sky.
Their songs are what happens when a classical background meets an experimental spirit, making a type of music that many of us find inaccessible suddenly evocative and engaging.
...they create minimalist, cinematic music that combines modern, experimental acoustic sounds with classical qualities.
Balmorhea's appeal lies in its emotional malleability, the way the music seems to shift in mood and meaning depending on the circumstances in which it's heard.