One genre of music that I have been hooked on for years now is post-rock. I am not a true music enthusiast, so I will not attempt to make an exhaustive list of the best post-rock bands, or attempt informed commentary on the qualities of the genre, etc. But post-rock is for me the ultimate music to drift away on my thoughts or to listen to on a neighborhood walk.
Post-rock developed out of shoegaze, and is, conventionally, without lyrics. It features walls of guitars, rhythmic variations, LOTS of reverb, and most often conveys a sense of open spaces and isolation. Some of my personal favorites as far as post-rock bands are Hammock, This Will Destroy You, Caspian, and Explosions in the Sky. I have listened to many others, and many others are also fantastic to listen to. Hammock is quite possibly my all-time favorite, and they may perfectly typify the genre with their long, flowery song titles, soaring riffs, and simple melodic motifs.
About eight or nine years ago my friend, at the time living in Seattle, introduced me to the genre, and I realized that this was a sound that I had always longed for. To me, listening to post-rock is like hearing the soundtrack to a slice of life. Complex, recursive guitars roll like waves of emotion over picked-out basslines that feel like the daily grind. It is probably no coincidence that most post-rock bands come from the Midwest and Texas, with the premiere European examples coming from the plains of the former Warsaw Pact. For example, Everything is Made in China… their song “after rock” has one of the most haunting uses of sampled dialogue I have ever heard.)
I recommend listening to post rock when you can give it your full attention, and yet also when you are in a position to let your mind wander and think about other things. For me, the inspiration it gives is not so much about plots, or acute emotions, so much as a sensation of living a large amount of time in fast-forward, like a music video that makes the mundane into a work of art through montage, or a film sequence that shows the passage of time over a place impersonally and without a lot of cuts or camera movement. There is a reason that post-rock has been used for soundtracks recently (one example being the indie Prince Sultan, which I have not seen, but has a phenomenal soundtrack by Explosions in the Sky.)
Hopefully this has been an enticing introduction to post-rock. If you have gone through the Wikipedia article, it has lists of many other bands that represent the genre. If you swing by this post, feel free to share any band names or songs in this style that you recommend or no, especially if I have not mentioned it here.