Sound — 9
Admiral Fallow are a six-piece band from Scotland (Glasgow for the most part, I do believe) who have been together for quite a few years now. Originally called The Brother Louis Collective (after the main singer/frontman Louis) and have recently released their second LP, "Tree Bursts In Snow". The sound is similar to their first album, but new, if that makes sense. It sounds like a very natural, and definitely interesting, progression. If you haven't heard any Admiral Fallow before then this statement obviously means nothing to you, so to best describe their sound? They have a clarinetist and flutist, as well as two guitarists, a bass player, and a drummer. Some of them also double on synths some of the time, or various percussion, or whatever's going really. Their sound is very big at times, with very clear folk influences, but a kind of rock edge to it, with some singalong kind of songs, and some ambient pieces that last a good 5 or 6 minutes, very minimalistic whilst still being interesting. This album doesn't have any solo vocals and guitar tracks like the last one did, and is generally much more heavily orchestrated and upbeat, but most certainly doesn't lack contrast, and Louis' voice really powers home sometimes, with his thick Scottish accent really sounding pretty miserable at times. Rhythmically they do some pretty exciting stuff too, so even if the chords might be a simple I IV I, there is quite a lot of anticipating beats and moving accented notes around, and really quite unexpected stuff. In summary: big sound, Scottish indie folk rock, kind of similar to Frightened Rabbit, or Moth And The Mirror.
Lyrics — 9
Sometimes the lyrics can seem slightly nonsensical, but quite often they talk of nostalgia and childhood memories. Quite a few love-y kind of songs as well, but not an excessive amount, and definitely not cringe-worthy lyrics at all. This album has songs that talk about brothers, a pub, trees being blown up by artillery, war, a friend, discontent, greed, etc etc. Some of my favourite lyrics are probably "this is a monolith; can't help but struggle with the will and the wayward old-hat ideals, and the weight of the uniform and the way that it feels", and "there'll be no deposit back from a cosmic landlord", but the album hasn't been out long, and I haven't had a chance to pick out any others, but judging from their past I can guarantee that there will be some absolutely killer lyrics. Louis does most of the singing, and his voice is simply beautiful, being both earthy and gritty as well as full of longing and sadness. Words can't really do it justice. Sarah (the flutist) also sings, and she has a very nice high voice that usually soars above Louis, whilst being low enough in the mix to sit very nicely. Between them and the clarinetist, who has a very deep voice with an even stronger Scottish accent, they make some very beautiful vocal sounds.
Overall Impression — 9
This is an amazing follow-up album after their first one, and it lived up to my high expectations in every way. I think it's a very refreshing album to listen to, as it's if somebody had taken Mumford & Sons but made them just that little bit more exciting, and a bit more fresh and upbeat in the way they sound, but a lot more down-to-earth in their lyrics. I love this album as a whole, but you really could pick out any song and listen to it on its own, and it would hold up. I suppose the only thing I don't like is that it doesn't have any songs that are just vocals and an acoustic guitar, because in their first album some of those types of songs were absolutely beautiful. That said, I don't feel this detracts from the overall flow of the album in anyway at all. Definitely worth a listen. If anybody stole it from me I would buy it again, and then probably buy an extra copy to keep in a safe away from whatever CD thief was on the loose. It pains me to give this album straight 9s, but I suppose it's at least a bit more believable to anybody who hasn't heard them than all 10s, so oh well. It deserves them.