{Awayland} – Villagers

Villagers AwaylandSometimes it only takes a few plays to know, and Villagers {Awayland} does just that, you know this is good, good stuff. Having played Becoming a Jackal to Death and so eagerly awaited the follow up, there is of course the worry that it wont live up to the hopes, but no such problems here. Top stuff.

Top stuff not least because of its differences from the material that first got me hooked. A sweeping sense of positivity cuts through the tracks, even when their subject matter may not be so positive. The strings, the brass, the electronica touches and a sound that is lighter and freer makes the listening a different experience this time, a band proper now and not so much a solo venture. But the constants remain- the poetry, the lyricism, the sureness of touch, the voice of course and the songs, the melodies, even more assured this time.

Having heard some of the material in a live setting when they gave storming support to Grizzly Bear last year at Warwick, I already know how some of these tracks, such as The Bell, can come even more into their own, taking on fresh strength and impetus with the drive of live playing.

What a joy to feel excited about a new album in these dank and dark new year days,  an album that will sink its hooks in deep and may even usurp the place of its predecessor in my affections. An album that is sure to reveal more layers and hidden corners of delight as I  grow to know it more intimately. As if this weren’t enough, they will of course be doing some dates to support the new album and will play Trinity in Bristol (where they played a couple of years ago) on 16th February

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