"It's natural to be afraid." That served as the title of one of the songs on Texan post-rock outfit Explosions in the Sky's fifth album, All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone, but it could just as easily have been applied to the creation, from scratch, of an entire film score. For a band whose sound is frequently described as cinematic, they don't do enough film score work; in 14 years, this is their first full score, 9 years after they wrote music, and included some of their own songs, for the film version of Friday Night Lights.

On Prince Avalanche, they collaborated with David Wingo (who's also a member of Ola Podrida), and the results of that pairing are as typically evocative as they are constantly surprising. It helps that they can be appreciated on their own, too - the actual film (a remake of the Icelandic film Either Way) doesn't arrive in the UK until September.

What this score means for the band's future output is unclear, but across these 15 tracks, EITS take their sound places that you would think even they never expected it to go. It's best to go into this with an open mind; they've left the post-rock at home this time. In its place is something equally delicate and beautiful, but this new side to the band comes from a completely different place. A piano line combines with arpeggiated guitar on the film's theme, highlighting the main instruments used. 'Dear Madison' features woodwind instruments, and is a good starting point for those unsure of the new material, combining a classic, wistful melody with a sonic palette that's more varied than most would expect. 'Alone Time' clocks in at five minutes long - by far the lengthiest piece - and features the juxtaposition of acoustic and electronic instruments, over which soars a choir that creates the ethereal feeling present in the best moments from their back catalogue: an "alternate perspective from the same vision," to quote a recent interview with guitarist Munaf Rayani.

It's the same band expressing themselves in new ways, and the electronic touches at certain points, like on 'Wading' and the quietly triumphant 'The Lines on the Road That Lead You Back Home', are genuinely exciting. A lot of doors are set to be opened by this score, because it's far more than just a stop-gap until the next full-length EITS record. It contains some of the most beautiful and powerful music of their career, and while it's easy to imagine the likes of 'Join Me on My Avalanche' and 'Send Off' being reinterpreted as more traditional fare from the post-rock group, it's also easy to see the new-found freedom they have unlocked being put to good use in the future.

Taken on its own, the score for Prince Avalanche is exciting enough, but when looked at in the context of what it could mean for Explosions in the Sky's future - well, it could be their watershed.