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Playlist or Nay-list: "No Feeling Is Final" by Maybeshewill [Post-rock, 2021]

Julian is a filmmaker and photographer. He received his M.A. in Communication from Wichita State and currently works for Yale University.

Playlist or Nay-list: "No Feeling Is Final" by Maybeshewill [Post-rock, 2021]

"No Feeling is Final" is the 5th studio album by English post-rock group maybeshewill and marks the first album since the group's reformation in 2020. Released in a time where news and social media never stops vying for our attention and so many human elements threaten the future of our world, the band says they hope to spread a message of hope and solidarity through their album - to help others realize that in the face of adversity, there are so many people working to better our future and that there are steps we all can take to ensure a future for those after us. That the feelings we have right now are fleeting, we can harness them for change in the world, and that no matter how down we might be - that feeling isn't final.

I've appreciated maybeshewill's music since I was in high school and they were a large contributor to the post-rock phase I went through, which is why I'm so excited to be reviewing their latest release for my first "Playlist or Nay-list", where the review leans heavily on the playlist-worthiness of the release and answers the question: "Does this belong on your playlist?"

Let's take a look!

‘No Feeling is Final’ is a message of hope and solidarity. It’s a story of growing grassroots movements across the world that are rejecting the doomed futures being sold to us, and imagining new realities based on equality and sustainability ... It’s a plea to take action in shaping the world we leave for future generations. It’s a simple gesture of reassurance to anyone else struggling in these troubled times: “Just keep going. No feeling is final.”

— maybeshewill

The Pre-Game

Let's pre-game the album; take a moment to get on the same page before we dive right in. Don't worry, I'll be brief.

As a post-rock group, maybeshewill's music is largely instrument, combining rock, orchestral, and sometimes electronic elements to create moving and emotional pieces. The group definitely doesn't stray too far away from their roots, with a lot of their classic sounds from previous releases abundantly found throughout "No Feeling is Final", and it's more the subtle nuances of the album that make certain parts stick out.

Standout Tracks

On my first playthrough, there were a couple tracks that stuck out immediately and ended up on my playlist: "The Weight of Light" and "Green Unpleasant Land".

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One thing I will commend maybeshewill again and again on until we all whither away is how astounding they are at building up the intensity in their tracks. If you take a listen, you'll hear what I'm talking about in both of these songs, albeit a little differently in each.

"The Weight of Light" captures the range of ideas and emotions the band intended to evoke with the album. The intro brings forward somber, cinematic tones with the use of piano, horns and strings before shifting solidly into the group's signature sound with a steady drum pulse. But around the 2:20 mark is when I feel the song truly shines - they give us the payoff of building into a heavier section that evokes more feelings of hope than the somber tones of the intro. The track truly allows us to experience a wonderful range of emotions and doesn't at all feel like it's almost 5 minutes in length.

"Green Unpleasant Land" has similar elements as the previous track in regards to how it shifts through emotions, but with a very different approach to tone and order in which we transition, as foreshadowed in the track name (the word "unpleasant" is a dead giveaway, right?)

In reverse order this time, the track begins with lighter feelings, almost like hope or happiness, before the transition into more post-rock elements lead us to one of my absolute favorite parts of the album: the drop and unnerving "breakdown".

Nearing the 4 minute mark of the song, we're left with only a somber piano part that grows darker when we hear the sound of a creaking gate in the background. And before we know it, the track drops into a heavy, unrelenting "breakdown" reminiscent of the popular metalcore trope. With this, we get an orchestra of trilling, unnerving string work that rightfully puts you at the edge of your chair.

The sheer buildup and drop of this song caught me so off guard, and I was surprised at the discomfort (in a good way) I feel listening to the details in the song's ending, which allowed this song to find its way straight onto my playlist.

The Holistic Review

Overall, the album is a lot of fun to listen to, but is best enjoyed when you're in the headspace to consider the environmental themes and emotions the group evokes through this release. There are a number of standout tracks that I think deserve more than one listen-through, like "The Weight of Light" and "Green Unpleasant Land", and I think there are definitely playlist-worthy tracks on this release.

Verdict: Solidly Playlist-worthy!

Like what you heard above? Check out my Post-Rock Honey playlist on Spotify to discover similar bands!

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