Inventions is the new band formed by longtime friends, tourmates, and labelmates Matthew Cooper of Eluvium, and Mark T. Smith of Explosions In The Sky. There are plenty of talking points here: The fact that Cooper hasn’t been in a “band” of any sort since he was a teenager; no member of Explosions In The Sky has released an album outside of the context of EITS since their inception in the late 90s; and, of course, this is a dream duo for anyone familiar with the unparalleled emotional resonance of Cooper and Smith’s respective day jobs. However, thirty seconds into their eponymous debut album, you realize that the esteemed pedigree is irrelevant. Inventions exceeds all expectations by discarding them from the get-go. They have created their own tiny, wondrous corner of the world, one with ever-changing sounds and colors.
Inventions began in earnest last year when Cooper invited Smith to collaborate on a song for Eluvium’s otherworldly double-album, Nightmare Ending. The track, “Envenom Mettle”, was a standout on an album full of them, and just like that a longstanding friendship blossomed into a full-fledged creative partnership. The following six months the duo continued to send audio files back and forth to each other from their respective homes in Portland, Oregon and Austin, Texas. The collaboration proved fruitful, inspiring, and truly enjoyable from the outset, and in less than a year they had amassed more than an album’s worth of material. They traveled together to a secluded beach house on the Oregon coast to complete the album, an environment that proved not only highly productive but also clearly influential on the album’s windswept beauty and warm vibrations. Across eight songs the duo explore the delicate and disturbing – and virtually everything in-between – with majestic abandon. It’s the kind of beauty and brilliance that only masters of their craft can accomplish when all egos and expectations are cast aside in pursuit of the splendor of sound.