I’ve been getting into instrumental groups for a while now, and I’ve got a handful that I come back to over and over.  I listen to them while praying, reading my Bible, working at the computer, driving the car, water skiing, parachuting, delousing mattresses…

About a month ago, my wife and I went to go see Explosions in the Sky in Milwaukee.  You can see a review here, but the show was incredible.  There were times when I wanted to cry, times when I wanted to get up and start dancing, times when I wanted to shout out in tongues as loud as I could (I am Spirit-filled after all)…  For the next 75 minutes, I was lost in a land where nothing mattered but me, my wife, God, and the music of EITS.  It was like through their music I was able to get away and ignore everything but what mattered.

Had it been a band with a vocalist singing about cars, girls, the death of a friend, or the guns of Brixton, I would have been taken into the world of the singer but not my own world.  That’s one reason I like instrumental music – it lets you escape like nothing else.

Here are nine of my favorite instrumentalists you need to check out:

Explosions in the Sky – My favorite of the post-rock neo-classical instrumentalists.
Mogwai – You kinda’ have to include these kings of post-rock.
Foxhole – Get some horns involved and lots of loud guitar.
Sixty-five Days of Static – Speaking of loud guitar…  and some sampling fun too.  These guys can rock.
As the Poets Affirm – Trippy and a little dark and mysterious, with folk overtones.  Great while praying.
Below the Sea – Moody, trippy, melodic, and awesome.  Another good one to throw on while praying.
Unwed Sailor – Nice reverby guitar.  Very pretty stuff.
Lightning Splits the Bark – Funky, synthy, and full of electronic samples and digital add-ons.
Don Peris – Folky, reverby, and pretty.  Great chill music.

So, who are your favorite instrumental groups out there?  I’m always on a quest to find great new music, so who should I look into?