It’s no accident that Apse’s latest offering is a slice of ambient, post-rock delight; the band has existed in one form or another for more than a decade. Their history lies more in experimental and instrumental music, which means that each track on Climb Up has a solid foundation and sounds akin to Mogwai or Explosions in the Sky. Layered on top of the urgent bass, driving drums, and pleasantly-distorted guitars are vocals that are repetitive to the point of being haunting. Listening to Apse is like having a gust of wind howl through your house, washing you with warmth rather than a chill.
Those who are familiar with Apse’s previous work probably know them for channeling a degree of darkness in their songs. While there is a bit of that darkness in Climb Up, the record follows the advice offered by its title. The darkness here is more like a shadow, and there’s more to encourage listeners to get up and dance. Sounding a bit like Portishead and Aphex Twin, Climb Up could be Apse’s most accessible record yet. It builds a sonic landscape that’s peaceful like a night sky, with perhaps a glimpse or two of lightning just to capture your attention.