Albums of Note... That 'difficult second album' phase is probably even more difficult when - in between your first and second album - you have performed at the Royal wedding, had your songs splashed all over the TV, dumped one of the UK's best-known radio DJs (Greg James) and started dating one of the United States' best-known producers (Skrillex). Ellie Goulding seems to have done a solid job of navigating the pressures of retaining her identity, whilst no doubt being squeezed by her record label. Overall though, Halcyonis not quite the blast of personality that we expected from Goulding: "The most disappointing thing is that they've not even really allowed Goulding's voice to flourish. She has a vocal that's pleasant if not exactly stand out, but all life in it's been stamped out through auto-tuning and correction, the singer sounding as though she's being possessed by the spirit of nothing at all."
Tall Ships are beginning to gather serious momentum on the live circuit in the UK and their debut album, Everything Touching cements that reputation. It's by no means a perfect debut but Tall Ships are already breaking free of the 'math rock' parameters that have been loosely placed about them. "The majority of the ten tracks are instrumentally intense with sounds overlapping and complimenting each other. An intriguing debut from Tall Ships, but there's just a spark missing. They should cut down on the instrumentals and replace with some words because, when they're used, the science and instrumental beauty are amplified perfectly."
Brighton-based outfit Tall Ships release their autumn debut 'Everything Touching' after busy summer of festival action. The trio have released a couple of EPs over the past few years, creating some interest in their eloquent melodies and elongated vocals. They've been branded as a 'math-rock' act but only scattered elements of that actually have the description to fit that label. It wouldn't be fair to designate one dominant genre to Tall Ships.
The album title may seem a bit dramatic and touchy-feely, but it's quite clever. The majority of the ten tracks are instrumentally intense with sounds overlapping and complimenting each other. There is always a noise clasping hold of or chasing the next. Having a nautical name, Tall Ships obviously like to put some science into their music. With songs called 'Phosphorescence' and 'Murmutations', 'Everything Touching' is just one big experiment. (FYI, the first is the science behind 'glow in the dark' objects and the latter is the name given to starlings flying in massive groups.) Ten minute slog 'Murmutations' ends with a euphoric choir-like revelation before skipping to the unusual sound of a child speaking gibberish.
Tracks 'T=0' and 'Best Ever' open the album in a brilliant way. Jittery build-ups of beats and misplaced keys weave in and out of the surrounding progressive noise. Every aspect dies down to an uncomfortable silence before it re-erupts, this time with some faded 'ahhs'. 'Ode To Ancestors' also masters a good build-up.
Continue reading: Tall Ships - Everything Touching Album Review
Tall Ships' new single, T=0, will be released on April 16th; it will be limited to just 500 copies. Their debut album will be released sometime this year. The band will be touring throughout March with Los Campesinos! on their headline tour, and with Maps and Atlases throughout April and May.
Continue: Tall Ships - T=0