Gregor Samsa: No longer just a horrific insect

Gregor Samsa

Gregor Samsa is a rotating collective of musicians based out of Richmond, Virginia that specializes in a slow, minimal post-rock sound. The music often revolves around the hush-hush vocals of Champ Bennett and Nikki King, who provide grounding for the ethereal instrumentation, which incorporates clarinet, violin and vibraphone, among others.

I had always been a huge fan of the band’s song “Young and Old” from 2006’s 55:12, which starts quietly and builds to a gorgeous, violin-led climax. So, naturally, after hearing the live version of the track, which appears on this year’s Over Air, I was completely blown away. The end of the song is now filled with crushing, distorted guitars that work with the soaring violin to become one of the more beautiful songs I’ve heard in a long time.

And even when the band isn’t reaching for the stars with cathartic climaxes, they still excel in creating absorbing soundscapes. Even if you think you’d be turned off by slow, deliberately paced music, try it out. You’ll be hard pressed to find songs as purely emotional as these.

Gregor Samsa – “Young and Old / VPRO” [MP3] (from Over Air)

Gregor Samsa – “Jeroen Van Aken” [MP3] (from Rest)

Gregor Samsa – “Lessening” [MP3] (from 55:12)

Check out Gregor Samsa on MySpace.


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