Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Music Review: Alex Clare and The Civil Wars

I know I haven't done a blog post in quite a long time.... I'm not sure why, it just seems to keep slipping my mind! Either that or nothing has inspired me to write one. Until now.

With music, I tend to go through phases of listening to it non stop, to not at all, and everything in between. Currently, I can't put down my iPod, and have added a load of new stuff to it including The Black Keys, Emeli Sande, Ed Sheeran, Maverick Sabre, and the addictive Azealia Banks.

Two albums I came across recently are so good, I wanted to share them; The Civil Wars' 'Barton Hollow' and Alex Clare's 'The Lateness of the Hour'.

You may know Alex Clare from the new Internet Explorer advert, featuring his song 'Too Close'. I'd seen the advert and was seriously interested by the song, so put Google to use and discovered Alex Clare, then decided to go ahead and get the whole album.

"It feels like I am just too close to love you...
so I'll be on my way."

-Too Close

'The Lateness of the Hour' is an incredibly interesting album. It doesn't stick to one genre; there are elements of dubstep looming underneath the poetic melodies, hearty guitar riffs, piano ballads and soulful vocals. Think a mix between Bruce Springsteen and Nero and, odd as it sounds, you're almost there! There is a perfect balance of upbeat summery tunes and slower songs of heartbreak, even a cover of Prince's 'When Doves Cry'. I most definitely recommend the album, and can see it becoming one I'll listen to on repeat.

"Words are clever,
hands are better,
so let's put them together.

I like cashmere, I like your sweater,
but if you take it off we'll both feel better."

-Hands Are Clever

Treading Water
Too Close
Hands Are Clever
I Won't Let You Down

Rating: 4/5

Next, The Civil Wars' 'Barton Hollow'. I first heard this band on Fearne Cotton's Radio 1 show with their lead single of the album, also named 'Barton Hollow'. I instantly loved it.

"Your mouth is poison,
your mouth is wine,
you think your dreams are the same as mine.

I don't love you, but I always will."

-Poison and Wine

This album proves you don't need anything more than a guitar and beautiful voices to create stunning music. The two vocals are the best part of the album; the gorgeous harmonies seamlessly intertwine with each other over the intricate guitar and piano to provoke images of porch swings and sunsets. One I particularly liked was 'The Violet Hour', an instrumental that I can't wait to try and play myself.

After hearing the single 'Barton Hollow', full of punching guitar chords and soaring notes, I must say I was almost let down when the rest of the album took on a much slower pace. However, I would still recommend a listen, if only for its refreshing simplicity.

"Swan dive down eleven stories high,
hold your breath until you see the light.
You can sink to the bottom of the sea,
just don't go without me."

-C'est la Mort

I've Got This Friend
Barton Hollow
Poison and Wine
The Violet Hour

Rating 3/5