Splash cold water on your face to start the day - the feeling of the mist clearing, focus pulled clean and sharp, this record gives you that feeling, a world brought with clarity. It reminds me of bands like Gene, Athlete, that late 90's lush indie, high on anxiety, doubled up on the density kind of record. Branded as 'Americana', whatever that is, it pulls at music's elastic, bending and blending genres, it is melodic, tunesome, even pretty.
'Boxers' has some lovely phrases, and this is endemic throughout the album, "she spins me like a boxer", "shall I just take a ticket and stand in line?" - ah, the frustrations of young love. It is also exquisitely recorded, the piano breaths, wings outstretched, it brings a wonderful depth, whenever it appears, it's an album of thoughtful musicality - the instrument in the right place at the right time, importantly for the right amount of time. I especially love the blend of electronic and the much underused tom-tom drums. It is brimming full of Simon Gallup and Peter Hook style bass - adding another backwards nod, class shows.
Don't think of it as retro however, it is an album of strong references, a distinct traceable lineage; the next rung of the ladder, a move both onwards and upwards. 'What are we going to do' has a flash of Divine Comedy, sharp of wit, a keen eye focused on life. The electronic of 'Not so Tired' is a bit grating, and is the albums only low point, the delicious folky 'Sleeper Train' more than repairs the damage.
I love the feeling of the environment in the album, 'Crows' has the air of rain battering down, whipped by the wind, chilly to the bone, all to the tonal drone of electronic throbbing through the background, it is mint. It's a record to lie to; in the bath, in bed, in another's arms and just drift. A record to wipe away "one of those weeks were the little things pull you apart".
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