When We Fell Through The Ice/ Echo's Swing
This double A-side single mirrors a refreshing kick in the backside to a stagnant U.S. music scene, continuing to a certain extent what The Arcade Fire and The Dears started over in canada.
These songs are perfect examples of modern baroque-pop, with immaculate instrumentation set to none-more-black tales of love. Their influences are clear, without being mindlessly derivative, the stark lyrics and plaintive guitar plucking on "When We Fell Through the Ice" recalls Leonard Cohen, and the doom-laden post-rock crescendo of "Echo's Swing" is reminiscent of Godspeed! You Black Emperor. These two facets are subtly rendered together without sounding contrived, which is certainly an achievement when you consider the difference between the two. Also, singer James Lesslie sounds spookily similar to Neil Hannon.
The first track, "When We Fell…" is a seemingly Parisian love song with the Cohen influence apparent in the plucked guitars, strings and martial drums, but with close male-female harmonies, eventually building into a stirring crescendo, after taking on layers of trumpets, guitars and violins.
"Echo's Swing", though, is the piece that is truly remarkable. Built around a simple piano figure, it weaves around a tale of loneliness in the city, with feedback and a discordant guitar tremelo bubbling under the surface, threatening to boil over at any moment, while Lesslie croons darkly, "I'm dancing with the ghosts of people I love". By the end of the track the dark undertow has taken hold, filling the song with ominous noise, before subsiding again, leaving a lasting impression long after the last strains have died out.
With the recent success of bands like The Arcade Fire and Antony and the Johnsons, Fireworks Night could very well build up a big cult following, and on the evidence of these two astonishing tracks, they deserve to.