Silhouettes - Ever Moving Happiness Machines (Integrity Records) 
Silhouettes - Ever Moving Happiness Machines

Release Date: 2nd June 2014

Holding my hands up here, on first listen I really wasn't overly impressed with this album from Wolverhampton sextet Silhouettes. But then I was stuck in traffic and I gave it another go for sake of fairness. The traffic was awful but the album got better. The album opened with what turns out to be an absolute belter in 'Gold Tag' which is part way between the jauntier side of Radiohead and a more confident Bon Iver - it also has one of the best basslines ever. 'Creaking Universe' is atmospherically beautiful in a very Jeff Buckley kind of way while 'Sacrifice' is a tune sent forward in time from the 80s to get pouty people dancing in the most minimalist way possible. The squelchy synth intro to 'Cold Water/Grey Flesh' is a delight like Air with Robert Smith on half-assed vocals - half-assed in a good way, though. And then things go full on Thom Yorke as 'I Miss You, I Want You, I Need You, I Love You' mumbles drunken remorse over tenderly caressed keys.

Recent single 'Prufrock's Dream' is a maelstrom of buzzing, angry bees that come flying from guitars as the spirits of Buckley and Yorke fight to emerge from Nathan Till's throat and the drums shuffle like a sinister Middle Eastern private detective in the shadows. 'Scuff Marks' is a beautifully haunting piece of twilight music that grows in to a Sigur Ros-esque sprinkly pop-romp from the edgy side of town. Silhouettes have definitely listened to their fair share of high quality indie over the years and this comes through in their handcrafted songs that are given the time to breathe on this record.  'Ferry Me Away' is a beautiful example of this while 'Black Within The Black' is a Delphic meets Joy Division piece of dark alternative-dance that should appeal to indie purists. The album closes with 'Boys', a tune of sombre beauty with more Radiohead overtones but with a more crooning feel - like a depressed Tony Christie singing with a downbeat a good way. So, for once, a traffic jam had a benefit that far outweighed the downside of staring at someone else's bumper for an hour. I'm not sure that should go on the tour poster though 
"Silhouettes: More interesting than number plates".

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