Another Sky is a band that has been on my radar for quite a while, and while on holiday I popped into a little independent record shop in Chichester and was lucky enough to grab myself one of the limited edition vinyl copies. And if there was ever an album that should be listened to on vinyl it’s this one.
As we all go on a journey through our lives, we have the good times, the bad and our viewpoints on the world can change as the world changes around us. Another Sky takes us on this journey throughout the record. From moving home into a new area with Fell in Love with the City, a song that explores the emotion of moving into a new area and the struggle to find your place in an area with an almost alien culture. Catrin sings ‘I fell in love with the city As I fell out of love with you’ as you begin you find your place in a new life, to Let us be Broken, a song about being remade. The lyrics ‘Let us be broken, Let us be open, let us name the cage, grow a garden in its place’ talk about taking yourself apart and putting yourself back together again, leaving the bad behind and stepping into the future you have had a part in shaping as a stronger (and better) person than you were before.
Songs like Brave Face and All Ends are visceral and raw with emotion. Catrin Vincent is a powerhouse of a vocalist and could easily overwhelm the album as a whole. Yet masterfully balanced with beautifully orchestrated instruments everything here wraps itself around her voice, like fog in woodland teasing details for future discovery while highlighting what’s important for the here and now. Brave Face especially grows with intensity as it approaches the end, like time passing faster as you approach the final moments.
At times the album takes on an almost progressive sound, the track Avalanche wouldn’t sound out of place on a Pineapple Thief album, with the angelic vocals and dark, political themes of brutality, racism, and equality. Lyrics like ‘When you hold them to account they’ll spit you out, just a bad taste in their mouth.’ really hit home and generate the feeling of being powerless. this can be both challenging yet satisfying as the band pushes boundaries. Hypnotic, chiming guitar and distinctive drumming really help to cement this track as one of the most powerful on the album.
Mixing personal with political is a theme throughout, the album challenges you to examine your place within the world, question your conscious and unconscious bias by covering politically heated subjects that help shape your beliefs. One moment the sound is gentle, soothing, the next filled with anger and emotion almost as a vessel for the inner conflict. It’s these moments that lift the album into being something extremely special. You can hear influences from other bands within their sound but has been masterfully shaped and honed into something beautiful and uniquely theirs.
A real assault on your senses and your emotions this was a brave record to release during lockdown when we are all already feeling emotionally and physically drained from the restrictions and the resulting change in our daily lives – but maybe this is also a reason it’s affected me in such a positive way. A really stunning debut album that has teeth, this is a must-listen for 2020.
Another Sky – I Slept on the Floor
Fell In Love With The City
I Slept On The Floor
Life Was Coming In Through The Blinds
Let Us Be Broken