Before the internet, before downloads and on demand music services, in youth, you would want an album. You’d get it, for christmas, or a birthday or you’d save and save to buy the album you want and you would listen. You wouldn’t add it to a huge single-click-to-play library so you’d listen again and you would read the booklet, with the list of tracks and lyrics. You would read the information and you would absorb it and you would truly let the album soak into you all while listening. The album becomes an experience and this is an experience.
Guillemots are really good at capturing feelings. You can really pull bliss and elation, sorrow and misery and everything in between.
The world is our carpet now
The world is our dancefloor now
Remind me how to dance again
The world is our carpet now
Yes we’re here
Free to run and cry
Obliged to try
And nothing here’s worth winning without a fight
All pulled from one song, We’re Here, it’s just a lovely track and you’re with them and as generic as the chord sequences might seem to be as you start, you get such rich harmonies and musical choices, it’s big and it’s rich. Another great fun track is Annie, Let’s Not Wait; I like the chord sequences in both the chorus and verses and you feel just on board with the mood.
Contrasting completely, Blue Would Still be Blue, realies almost solely on the vocal line with almost no musical support, the voice is strong, expressive, emotional and can easily carry the track. It’s this voice that is one of the commonalities holding the feel of the tracks together.
I really want to bring attention to the opening track, Little Bear. It’s really quite beautiful and fragile. The Main backing is the full string orchestra that washes over you from the start, it’s not representative of the whole album sonically but perhaps this little number does set the mood. There is something about the track that can just build a lump in your throat. There is an inherently sad feeling here and it just feels simplistically beautiful.
The closing number Sao Paulo just knows how to end an album, 11 minutes of up and down until toward the end it builds and builds and builds a rock ending. This is backed up with an orchestra, giving way to a salsa style bass sequence on the piano, musically adding and adding, more and more discord pops in and out until finally… Triumph, church bells, orchestra, band, everything in full celebration mode, and with one huge chord, we’re played out with a little music box.
All other tracks are worth mentioning, honerable mentions to Trains To Brazil and If the World Ends, but Through the Windowpane the album is a truly rich experience if you can get into the sound.
Is this album for you?
OK, it’s Indie and it’s quite mushy in places, it’s heart-on-sleeve stuff; you know if that counts you out. The happy is mildly cheesey, the sad is mildly depressing but these are little quibbles. I enjoyed this, particularly some of the musical choices made to generate the mood. I will say the sound is… ohhhh… slightly – very slightly – generic, but it’s a none-issue for me. If you haven’t heard them, give a try.
- Writing: 9/10
- Performance: 8/10
- Style: 8/10