Thursday, 3 November 2011

LP Review - The Moth & The Mirror - Honestly, This World

As far as supergroups go, you don't get a much more impressive than The Moth & The Mirror. Comprising of Louis Abbot (Admiral Fallow & Song Of Return), Gordon Skene (Frightened Rabbit), Stacey Sievwright (Arab Strap & The Reindeer Section), Kevin McCarvel, Iain Sandilands and Peter Murch. Given the personnel one would expect high things from their debut 'Honestly, This World', and those expectations are nurtured, kept warm and exceeded throughout the 10 tracks on this LP.

Album opener 'Everyone I Know' eases us gently into the album, dainty acoustic notes are picked on the guitar before the bass saddles in and Sievwright's enthralling vocals set the song in motion. Flitting between the soft and delicate sounds and a stronger sound filled with crashes of cymbals, Sievwright bemoans 'I don't have the heart for this', hinting perhaps at a greater underlying theme of apathy towards 'this world'.

Next track 'Soft Insides' is a simply affair, reverby guitar, sweet soaring vocals mixing with chimes and threatening to sweep the listener away on a boat by a river where tangerine people eat marshmallow pies. 'Fire' picks the pace up a bit, the unmistakable vocals of Abbot take the lead, his voice has a certain familiarity and warmth about it. Jaggy riffs rise up and puncture the melody, whilst Sievwright joins in to harmonise with the closing refrains which clocks up as the best moment on the album so far.

If you've been singing along then here's a pause for breathe, the dulcet floatly light 'Boxes' is something that wouldn't be amiss on a Kate Bush album, gentle, reflective and I've since discovered a song about suicide and the resulting fallout. Which kind of fits the structure of the song well, as halfway through it explodes unexpectedly into a full drum kit extravaganza, vocals kick up a notch, and a gutsy scuzzy guitar solo leads out back to a quiet ending. It's a beautifully crafted song, with layers of detail demanding your full attention.

'Beautiful Creature' is a short song, almost like an interlude, but certainly not a filler. At 1 minute 47 seconds, and one verse, with a lovely little bit of trumpet, it leads nicely into the title track 'Honestly, This World' which again showcases the intimate nature of The Moth & The Mirror's sound and their ability to keep that intimacy alive even when it sounds like the world is falling down around them. As noisy a song as their is on the album, 'Honestly, This World' shifts tempo and pace throughout, and is a live standout if you ever get the chance to see the band live.

'Hope Is An Anchor' creeps in with soft acoustic notes, much like the opening track. It has a rather strange structure, but is pulled off and builds towards a lovely instrumental section featuring Abbot's Admiral Fallow band mates Sarah Hayes on flute and Kevin Brolly on clarinet.

Lead single from the album 'Germany' is up next, and given that it's the track that really sold me on the band, it's no surprise I rate it up amongst the highlights of the album. A simple jerking rhythm throughout and wonderous harmonising, it's a pop song with attitude and just a little bit off the kilter. Which is a good thing.

Closing tracks 'Closing Doors' and 'Oceans & Waves' return to the softer approach seen on 'Soft Insides', the latter track is a perfect closer for this album, epitomising everything about The Moth & The Mirror's sound in one six and a half minute track. Definitely one of the albums of 2011.

Buy 'Honestly, This World' here. Check out The Moth & The Mirror's website too. And have a listen below.

No comments:

Post a Comment