When: Sun., Nov. 10 2013
liturgical post-rock, 7 p.m.
The first taste many listeners got of Michael and Lisa Gungor’s musical project was 2009’s “God is not a White Man,” a sunny, acoustic guitar-driven number, propelled into the internet limelight by an animated YouTube video made from construction paper cutouts. The song was a reminder that, as the lyrics stated, God loves “atheists and charlatans and communists and lesbians and even old Pat Robertson.” It was sweet and anthemic and featured a whole lot of “la la las.” Fast-forward to the band’s release of the album I Am Mountain in September, and the sonic landscape has changed dramatically. Where once Gungor was jangly, folky, and sparse, the new Gungor is lush, electronic-infused, and dense. The track “God and Country” opens with a Pink Floyd-style synthesizer burble, and the eight-minute “Upside Down” possesses the sweep of a post-rock opus. On tour, Michael Gungor says the four-piece band now requires 48 channels in the sound system, and each band member is playing upwards of five instruments. He says the abrupt shift in style came after a period of rest at home in Denver following the band’s last multi-year tour, during which he played a lot of videogames and listened to a lot of classical music and selections from Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums list. “I kind of tried to forget how to write a song and how to approach an album,” he says. “I wanted to see things with new eyes and hear things with new ears.” The result might be surprising for longtime fans, but Gungor says the shift was a natural one. “Our aesthetic has changed severely, and for me, it wasn’t merely aesthetic decisions that got us there,” he says. “It was actual personal change. As the person changes, so does the work.” —Paul Bowers SUNDAY