If you thought releasing singles was a tactic mainly used by artists trying to hit the top of the charts, you have a lot to learn about the indie music scene. Indie stalwarts Mogwai will probably never appeal beyond their cult following, yet they continue to release singles that achieve serious critical acclaim. As explained in a variety of music journalism sites, Mogwai has released a video for Coolverine, the lead-off single for the band’s latest post-rock opus, “Every Country’s Sun.” Fittingly for Mogwai, this video is deeply evocative and artistic. The video’s surreal visuals include shots of people and objects falling upwards.
Although some people complain that Mogwai follows a too-familiar pattern in their epic songs, I feel that this type of criticism in wrongheaded. If Mogwai were to drift too far from their well-established style, longtime fans might lose patience. Borrowing the atmospheric, soundtrack-like style of Godspeed! You Black Emperor and taking it to the next level, Mogwai achieved great success through their consistency. For better or worse, post-rock is one of those styles of indie rock that has a fairly rigid, well-defined sound. Fortunately, this is a sound that is deeply appealing to those of the public who are willing to stretch their musical horizons.
Since the 90s, Mogwai has delivered incredibly beautiful rock music for the masses. By focusing on instrumental music instead of vocals, this band has established a formidable back catalog that has proved highly influential. Although most post-rock bands are indie artists operating on small labels, I think that the aesthetics of post-rock have gradually filtered into modern rock. This is perhaps one of the reasons that more and more rock musicians are composing pieces with long instrumental sections. Although Mogwai certainly wasn’t the first post-rock band, I argue that Mogwai took the post-rock sound and turned it into something far more sweeping and marketable. Over time, it is possible that Mogwai will find bold new ways to adjust their musical style.