Normal Human Feelings
added: 13 Dec 2013
// release date: 6 Jan 2014 // label: Divergent Recordings
reviewer: David Spencer
Get your sea-legs ready if you are intrigued by this Canadian five-piece, because there is a real feel of the ocean waves about Normal Human Feelings. The Montreal band's sound is described as 'folk-pop' - which is a way of saying that it is more accessible than some of folk's more introspective artists. Some of the band travelled to Romania and Hungary before the recording - and the eastern European feel has found its way into an intoxicating compendium of sounds.
Little Suns certainly have an intriguing image too - with bohemian style pictures adorning the publicity - hinting at a kind of Panic! At The Disco for Mumford & Sons fans. The sound though is some way off that - tending towards the more epic, with the wide open spaces of Antichrist for example, which could soundtrack some dark US drama. Them Girls is simpler but more delightful for it while Wake Up's slow building gentle rock has flashes of mid-eighties U2 about it.
The band are John Aaron Cockburn, Matt Smith, Robin Meyer-MacLeod, Liam Smith and Daniel Grewal - and at times they make it sound like there are ten of them not five - particularly on Overnite Flight, with its background horns giving way to a Captain Pugwash finale. Black Elephant also gives the album this ocean-going feel, underlining the folk fixation with mother nature - although there is no lyrical reference to ships and sailors! This is an impressive debut - but the range of musical spices might make it a little scatter-gun for some.
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