Its been rather a long time since the first, wonderful There Will Be Fireworks self-titled album back in 2009, even though there was that EP to keep the faithful on side. So, for whatever reason, not a band that throws out a tsunami of music, perhaps characteristic of a band that takes its passions seriously and will not be hurried.
The Dark Dark Bright, out on Comets and Carwheels, keeps the faith with the intensity and emotion of their first outing but as you might hope after the five year interregnum, there is a build here, an added poise with a bit more of the orchestral with softer edges that frame the impassioned vocals of Nicholas McManus and piercing guitar-work of tracks like River.
You could so easily see TWBF heading towards the anthemic, stadium sound which, if successful in such a crowded ‘market’, could bring riches but oh what a loss that would be. For me the distinctive qualities lie less in the soaring, euphoric nature of some songs, but the fragility and almost domestic intimacy that is woven through this album and indeed much of their work, especially on songs like Roots and Youngblood.
Lyrically always interesting and finely wrought, each song captures snapshot stories, moments in time, almost always emotionally charged with loss, hurt or longing. Perhaps not feel-good album of the year, but it does feel, its human and touching and good, very good.
Don’t stay away for so long next time, eh?