Belfast‘s And So I Watch You From Afar has just started streaming their entire forthcoming album, All Hail Bright Futures, all this week, courtesy of Vice’s own Noisey.com. As described by Sargent House, the label/worldwide management group to which ASIWYFA just recently signed onto, All Hail Bright Futures “could be taken as both an ethos for the album and the band at this point in time. There is a new color scheme in place: new textures, emotions, sounds and voices… (All Hail Bright Futures) is dominated by a sunnier disposition, a positive uplift that more closely matches the euphoria the Northern Ireland trio has been instilling in audiences through their music in a live setting for the last five years.” And by the way, they really aren’t kidding when they talk about the euphoria of their live shows after just recently winning the Best Live Band at Choice Music Prize this past year, not to mention the clocked 500 plus shows worldwide.
Thoughts, comments, and concerns? Well it is certainly a different kind of album than expected from the group. Sure, there are moments such as “Trails” & “Mend And Make Safe” which remind me far more of previous albums such as Grimes, but the vast majority of the album seems, well, different. Perhaps they have taken a cue from fellow Irish group Adebisi Shank however the songs are clearly for more energetic, not in the way say post-rock climatic strikes but more as a thrashing math-rock meets an electronic bliss of reimagined post-hardcore. To understand this sensation, I would highly recommend “Like A Mouse” & “Big Thinks Do Remarkable“. Sargent House releases All Hail Bright Futures on March 19, 2013 on LP, CD, & download worldwide and is the first recoding done by ASIWYFA as a three-piece. While this may have been the case with recording, the band will continue on as a four piece with the addition of Niall Kennedy (guitar). The album was recorded with Rocky O’ Reilly at Start Together Studio in Belfast.
Essentially, it is definitely clear that ASIWYFA is seeking to redefine itself with their third full length. And yeah, I will certainly say that I gladly bump said album at least several times through in the past twenty four hours, partly for research and partly to keep me awake during this depressing weather. It feels as though the group is lost though. They are taking heavy cues from others without retaining enough of what truly made them unique on the global stage. If they seek to be an amazing live act, well, it appears as though they have accomplished it and certainly this album tour is going to be a fun one by what I am hearing. If the goal is to continue to give a unique perspective and development on this evolving genre, well, they may have missed the mark. Take a listen and tell me I’m wrong: regardless, I think I’ll pop it on one more time.