Balmorhea: 'Settler'

  • Playlist
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Balmorhea 300 i

Balmorhea Megan Carney hide caption

toggle caption Megan Carney
Balmorhea 300


Megan Carney

Now a six-piece band, Austin's Balmorhea has come a long way from its days as a two-man outfit. Building upon both classical and post rock influences, Balmorhea's third album, All is Wild, All is Silent, shines with the addition of an upright bass and drums to accompany its emotive instrumental pieces.

Though vocals occasionally filter through the music, All is Wild, All is Silent contains no lyrics. Far from sounding incomplete or unimaginative, however, the music has such a strong narrative flow that the absence of lyrics is hardly a weakness. Many of the tracks on All is Wild, All is Silent contain natural storyline trajectories that would make German dramatist Gustav Freytag proud. "Remembrance," for instance, begins with softly plucked notes on the guitar and slowly incorporates the banjo, strings section, and drums until all the instruments energetically meet in a climax before breaking back down into the song's quiet resolution. From this natural narrative flow, Balmorhea proves that a cello and a banjo are just as capable of expressing ideas and emotions as a group of words on a page.

Download this song in the Second Stage podcast.

Yesterday's Second Stage artist.

Submit Your Music

Email host Robin Hilton.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from