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On September 25th The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die release Harmlessness, their second full-length and first for the legendary punk outlet Epitaph Records. The album is a breakthrough for a band that has built a following crafting striking melodies, poignant narratives, and confident, compelling songs out of their own complicated and imaginative aesthetic.

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The album ranges from the hushed folk of opener “You Can’t Live Here Forever” to the epic, grandiose “Mount Hum” – spanning the bedroom pop of the band’s salad days to the sweeping scope of 2013’s Whenever, If Ever, and beyond. Founded by guitarist/singer Derrick Shanholtzer-Dvorak, guitarist/singer Tyler Bussey, and bassist Josh Cyr in 2009 in the post-industrial mill town of Willimantic, Connecticut, The World Is a Beautiful Place’s early records were atmospheric, impressionistic tone-poems, balanced somewhere between the twilit emo of American Football and Christie Front Drive and the pensive, mood-heavy post-rock of The Appleseed Cast and Yo La Tengo. The music was often free-form, as was the band’s roster, adding guitarists (Greg Horbal and Chris Teti), keyboardists (Katie Dvorak), vocalists (David Bello), and periodic collaborators (spoken-word artist Chris Zizzamia). The World Is a Beautiful Place have thus become something of a collective, expanding to nearly a dozen performers or condensing down to a core five or six. The band cites Bedhead, Don Caballero, Sun Kil Moon, and mewithoutYou as influences – all artists that have approached the art of making albums as a collective enterprise. Written as a group, Harmlessness finds the band developing some of its very best songs, even as certain tracks sprawl and stretch into abstract shapes.