TEST SPIN: Inspiraling — Resolve Yourself

Released with minimal hype by Electric Buffalo Records at the end of a blustery April, Resolve Yourself, the first release from Inspiraling (aka Gil Israel ’16), seems far divorced from landlocked Ithaca. The album occupies a beachy vein that tenuously falls under the surf-rock heading, but mostly rides its marriage of keyboards and hazy guitars into a nebulous realm. Few of Resolve Yourself’s tracks channel powerful momentum. Rather, they slowly drift along like musings from a lazy, sun-drenched afternoon. Resolve Yourself resembles early releases from slacker-rocker Mac DeMarco.

TEST SPIN: Explosions in the Sky — The Wilderness

Explosion in the Sky’s new album, The Wilderness, released April 1, challenges the limits of “study music.” Unlike other instrumental albums, The Wilderness takes listeners away from themselves, and their problem sets, to a busy, vibrant, emotional space of — true to its title — uncharted territory. The Wilderness tells a story better than many lyricists. But, in many ways, the story is written by the listener, who molds each beat to her transient perception. Explosion in the Sky’s daring to blend the serene with the passionate complicates their symphonies not just with the pretexts of rock-and-roll but also with a powerful message that seems, over and over, to undo the album’s calm. From the moment “The Wilderness” begins with its fast-paced electric guitar and rhythmic tambourine, senses blend.