Review: Maybeshewill - I Was Here For A Moment, Then I Was Gone

A meticulous, gorgeous instrumental rock record.
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Maybeshewill - I Was Here For A Moment, Then I Was GoneLeicestershire’s Maybeshewill manages an engrossing, provocative experience with I Was Here For A Moment, Then I Was Gone. It’s a chilling record in many respects, vibrant with instrumental upheaval and divine gorgeousness all at once, but it’s also hopeful.

The UK-based quintet features James Collins (drums), Matt Daly (keyboards), John Helps (guitar), Robin Southby (guitar), and Jamie Ward (bass). Adhering to a DIY aesthetic, the band has self-recorded all of its material and continues to evolve with each release. With Ward once again serving as producer, I Was Here For A Moment… feels like a comprehensive piece of work in every respect.

As the follow-up to Sing The Word Hope In Four-Part Harmony, I Was Here For A Moment… feels optimistic. Maybeshewill’s efforts seem fixated on a whole experience, so the band works toward that end with forceful melodic awareness and, better still, a nose for consistency.

As a result, the disc features all the distinction and potency of an orchestral presentation.

Starting by creating tension on “Opening,” I Was Here For A Moment… packs lovely strings and wordless vocals. Its cinematic edge is warm, flowing gracefully into the guitar-led “Take This To Heart.”

With “Red Paper Lanterns,” Maybeshewill corkscrews further up the mountain. Skeletal guitars and Collins’ adamant drums build until the break gives way to a conquering flood of sound and splendour. Through anthemic, heavenward riffing and a gentle understanding of when to quiet things down, the band produces something special.

“Critical Distance” is a favourite, with Daly’s keyboarding and the intrepid rush of what could nearly be dance music through an Explosions in the Sky strainer. The sun breaks through to a soaring melodic core that allows for more focus on the piece’s undercurrents.

Each track on I Was Here For A Moment… is assembled in similar fashion. The baroque horns of “Words for Arabella” harvest the recurrent melody, illustrating Maybeshewill’s sense for detail.

That is what makes this album such a satisfying listen, after all. Maybeshewill is mindful of song construction, of how to build from slighter instances and how to create drama through meticulous, pertinent use of stuff like control, space and beautiful noise.