Balmorhea has this uncanny ability to build soundscapes as vast and diverse as the Texas terrain which inspires them. With chilling solo acoustic riffs and overwhelmingly intricate ballads, Stranger moves from barren to lush with instrumentation, exploring the many different arenas the band has become experienced in during their growth and expansion over the past six years. The main difference between this album and its four predecessors is the inclusion of full percussion, which gives the group a dynamic and edge that was previously unobtainable. With a sort of individual fluidity, the array of elements that comprise each track build upon one another, like the guitar and strings heard in “Masollan,” and oppose each other like the overpowering electric guitar in “Fake Fealty.” While one part will create dissonance, another will resolve it. It’s as if everyone in the band is playing something totally unique, all fitting into this larger picture which would feel incomplete if any piece were missing. Such is Texas. Such is Stranger.