By The Accidental
This is The Accidental's first album. The collective draws its membership from the bands Tunng, The Memory Band and The Bicycle Thieves and the album was largely written through online collaboration. The result is a simple, harmonious, folksy thing, sounding occasionally like Ella Guru, sometimes Belle and Sebastian, and more then once the Beta Band.
The vocals and harmonies are often lovely, with a little sprinkling of instrumentation from acoustic guitars, percussion and strings complementing and supporting the vocals, rather than dominating them.
The album starts off with the almost onomatopoeic "Knock Knock" with Hannah Caughlin gently singing:
"If you knock, knock, knock;
And if you call me I'll be free."
The second track - Wolves - is the one the band are receiving critical plaudits for. Filled with social comment on the 'wolves' trying it on with magical girls in the local club after getting jarred up:
"As she was raining sparks into the room like that;
She was dancing in a neon cave with a tilted smile and a lover's laugh; Embossed upon her in the darkness;
Like a light at the edge of night beside her."
But for my money the strongest track of the album is "Illuminated Red" - a folksy contemplation going from the ravens leaving the tower and the empire falling to 'your mouth on mine', while the next track, Birthday is filled with simple acts of devotion:
"I will make you peanut butter toast;
I will make you eggs and orange juice;
I will dress well in my finest shirt;
I will dress finely for your birthday."
While the album has moments of simple gracefulness it does lack a stunning track, or knock out punch. To do that this collective needs to be bolder.