The Six Parts Seven's sweeping instrumentals are like spider's silk: elegant and surprisingly sturdy. The band has always left much to the imagination, its albums as beautiful and mysterious as its wooded, rural Kent home. For Lost Notes, they enlisted a handful of indie-rock luminaries to color in the wide-open spaces of their pastoral post-rock.
The results are electric. With vocals and other minor flourishes, notables such as Modest Mouse's Isaac Brock and the Black Heart Procession's Pall Jenkins enliven 6P7's detailed material. Sounds vary from the meditative hush of Jenkins's "Seems Like Most Everything Used to Be Something Else" to the dense, histrionic "Cold Things Never Catch Fire," which features Katie Eastburn of the Young People wailing over ricocheting electronics. For all the big names, the true highlight comes from fellow Ohioan Brian Straw, a frequent 6P7 collaborator, who turns in a stunning take on the band's "Now Like Photographs." Blending Straw's delicate voice with wisps of lap steel, the song is barren and breathtaking.