It's harder than ever to tune out the din of modern society, but there are tools with which to diminish the noise. One of them is listening to the fine Austin, Texas instrumental group Balmorhea (Bal-more-ay). Since 2006, the band, led by Rob Lowe and Michael Muller, have released four albums of stunningly gorgeous music that's at once plaintive and uplifting, taking cues from Satie and other minimalists as the young composers refined a sound all their own. Today Balmorhea releases its fifth collection, Stranger (Western Vinyl), which catapults the ensemble in a thrilling new direction. "Masollan" (streaming below) makes this as clear as anything on the record. Its propulsive, elegant swagger serves as a nice counterpoint to the more subdued work of the band's past. If the world-weary are chasing a reprieve, let Stranger be among the cures.
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