Following the success of their debut album, Beyond Brushes, duo Matthew Lowe and Daniel Trenholme tackle the difficult second release with Reverie. Given that their album launch party sold out five months ago, it's safe to say that this one is hotly anticipated. Only formed two years ago, The Stables have come a long way in a short time. The product of a late night drinks session culminating in a 5am play of what became their first single, they have since played Glastonbury and are just about to embark on a European tour.
The CD opens with Dandelion and Daisies, a perfect easing in to the new album, with a gentle alt-folk sound a touch reminiscent of Bon Ivor. French Martini picks up the pace and energy levels a little, with a chorus that you'll be nodding along to. The first single released from the album was the title track, and it's easy to see why this was the one that was picked. It's a beautiful track that will stick in your head, and leave you humming along for days afterwards.
The highlight of the album is the magnificent Worry, a low key but achingly gorgeous song filled with delicate vocals. If Reverie will stick in your head, Worry will haunt your dreams. While the second half of the album doesn't quite hit the lofty heights that preceded it, there are still plenty of moments that make it soar. Life With You On Repeat is in a similar vein to Worry, a quieter track with an intense fragility to it. Ticket has shades of Wolfmother about it, and is just joyful to listen to. Ocean is pared back completely to give an almost acoustic experience, and the album ends with the short and muted We'll Never Know which feels like a good way to end.
Lowe refers to the album as an almost break-up album, written while going through relationship turmoil. He would hardly be the first person to turn such unrest into a great album, because that's what Reverie is, one of the first great albums of 2018. It feels very intimate, yet there is an epic sweep to it too. The duo think of Reverie as the album they wanted to make when they formed The Stables, and following up this one is going to take some doing. On this form though, I'm looking forward to seeing what they do with their difficult third album.
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