Stay Gold is an album about moving on, both emotionally and physically. The deep yearning for seeing what is over the horizon coupled with the fear that what we left behind is lost and what is ahead is not what we wanted or anticipated, but that we have to accept it. This is exemplified in the song Stay Gold, “What if our hard work ends in despair? What if the road won't take me there?” Silver Lining deals with the regret for the path not taken and the fear of stagnating by staying still in one place or living too fast in alien territory, but still ends in hope with the knowledge that no matter how bad things get the sun is still there behind the clouds, we just can’t always see it. It is an album evocative of being on the road, and the transformative nature travel works upon us.
4 out of 5 stars
Originally printed in Kirkby Extra, Issue 315, December 2014.
An album that tonally owes a creative debt to both ELO and Arcade Fire, Love Letters is at turns wistful, fragile and fraught with desire, rejection and isolation. There is a particularly resonant line in Never in a Month of Sundays, “I’ll take you away from this horrible town,” that captures everything it is to be in love and on the run. Reservoir takes place in a desolate space tinged with ruined romance like the reservoir in the song title. There is a desperate yearning for escape from the trap of our lives bleeding out of every lyric that penetrates bone-deep. The title track of the album is dance on the table and make a prat of yourself catchy, but behind the synths and hooks of clever indie electronica is a palpable darkness that only serves to enrich the pop sensibilities of the band in a mastery of contrast.
4 out of 5 stars.
(originally printed in Kirkby Extra, Issue 314, November 2014)
Monthly music columnist for the Kirkby Extra, sometimes article writer for Get Into This. Freelance writer/artist/maker.