The Shadow Line is the band’s first physical album release after allowing their first collection of songs to be downloaded for free. The solid framework is clearly influenced by the classic songwriting of Van Morrison, Radiohead and Bright Eyes.
AM 180 opens with a simple four note arrangement plucked delicately on the cello, the small repetitive sound has enough strength to pick up the track and carry it on into oblivion. It’s supported by shimmering violin playing, glittering and gliding throughout – a dominant feature of the whole record.
This rolls nicely into The Chain with a powerful bass line it fires an exhilarating emotional blast with the shuddering effects felt throughout 45 bliss inducing minutes.
Next up is Russian Dolls, the next single to be released and it’s the highlight of the album. It starts with cautious piano playing, accommodating Tom Evans’ thoughtful, heart tugging lyrics. “She’s packing it all away and starting over again” he sings as the track edges closer to a powerful close. It provides strong evidence that they may just be the sprawling offspring of the late Hope of the States, building up the track with weaving, winding, wonderful shooting star synths. A gothic, ghost like backing sends you into a frenzy freakout as the tracks stumbles and crashes into what could be the finale of the album. But we are only half way through.
The remainder of the album glides by with the same soul embedding notes but remaining on a high from the midway point. Already they’ve done enough to grab. At times it is atmospheric (Uncharted), at others it’s urgent and frantic (Sleep It Off) but overall The Shadow Line is a superb collection of songs. There will be more to this story than first meets the eye.