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Special Explosion

SXSW Presents: Special Explosion

It's been nearly a decade since dreamo (that's dream-pop and emo, in case you were wondering) act Special Explosion erupted onto the scene, and we couldn't be more happy to have them after all these years. They take out the whininess typically associated with emo music. Instead, they keep all of that emotion and channel it through tender indie rock with lucid atmospheres and textures.

Even during a time when the world around them, in a musical and real life sense, was unreliable and confusing, Special Explosion maintained their collective head, supported by their four pairs of shoulders. With many releases behind them, their late 2017 album To Infinity can be considered debut, as far as full-length records are concerned. It provides 10 tracks worth of their adept instrumentation, recalling earlier days of Death Cab for Cutie and Sufjan Stevens but always sounding like their own.

They're the kind of band you see and fall in love with, over and over again, and that's part of what makes them so special.

Special Explosion Taking Part In Seattle Center's Upcoming Outdoor Concert

Special Explosion are on the bill for The Next Fifty Plays the First Fifty, an exciting event hosted at the Seattle Center to bring the community together to watch up and coming local bands. Appearing alongside acts like Fly Moon Royalty, Candysound, and Brothers From Another, the performers will be playing original material as well as covers written by some of Seattle's most enduring musicians.

This young five piece will be a highlight, no questions about it. They self-released their debut EP this past February; the four songs included on the album depict a band electrified with creativity and enthusiasm. Lead track "Lifeguard" builds up its impact with the guitar line and drum beat locking in perfectly - from there, the vocals connect in passionate, soaring fashion. The six minute song flows seamlessly from moment to moment, thereby transcending its patchwork of parts to become a unified whole.

Special Explosion's take on punk-infused indie rock is novel as it is optimistic: a perpetual positivity exudes from their material, in no small part thanks to their excellent guitar riffage."Two Mile Time Trial" is another six minute tune that decides to take an atmospheric turn two minutes in, showing the band's ability to slow down and not lose the attention of listeners. Their judicious use of singing - when to let the vocals shine versus letting the instruments do the talking - lends it more thoughtfulness and force than words excessively thrown about.

Hosted at The Mural Amphitheater at Seattle Center, the show is this Saturday, July 7th from 2:00-8:00pm. Best of all, it is free! Eights bands in all are on the bill. For more information on the event, visit EMP Museum's website. Give Special Explosion's bandcamp a visit to stream their whole EP right here. 

- Cameron LaFlam


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