Mittwoch, 28. Mai 2014

Album review: The Fireflys - Embers of The Autumn // Song review: The Fireflys - Release/Repeat. Glowing, atmospheric and sentimental rock music that sets the house on fire

Pure and natural. Artless and genuine. With its inimitable sentiment, its engaging honesty and warmth in sound, acoustic music strikes a chord in us. It reaches the hindmost corners of our mind, imbues each fibre of our heart and soul with euphonious melodies, unfolds atmospherically whilst its poignant and heartfelt tonal spirit evokes a tense atmosphere per se, whilst its natural and harmonic arrangement preludes to a story yet to be told within the music's vocal, lyrical guise. Acoustic compositions commonly come in with a minimalist yet expressive, impressive even, melodic conception, merge smooth but passionate, energetic, often guitar-driven, components to create an inspiring and unaltered sound. A sound that stimulates and sparks one's senses and imagination

Imagine - there's a placid glade in the dark, people have gathered around a dimly then fiercely flaring campfire. Silence heralds, it's the nocturnal breeze of the wind solely that softly swirls and builds a shallow scenery of sound, infrequently intertwined with the firewood's crackle. The wind carries an intimate melody, a gentle and sentimental, soon an ardent one originated by a pensive, inspired musician and his melodious sounding acoustic guitar. Lured in by the soulful concord of chords, it's the strong and emotionally stirring vocal feature that wins the listeners eventually over - combined, the vocal and melodic sonority brings something magical, mesmerizing into being: music that either charms, imbues and moves despite or precisely because of its rather minimalist (yet powerful) accoustic arrangement..

Undoubtedly, 'Cemetery Song' blends in chime with said imaginative campfire scenario. The first few notes already give away the compositional consensus: as an ambient yet melodically piercing guitar intro sets in, is reminiscent of a bluesy and atmospheric acoustic sound, it's seemingly predictable what direction The Fireflys took with their album's opening track. Passionate and sharply resonating vocals, vocals rich in vulnerability and soul, add to the acoustic feel of 'Cemetery Song', whilst a profoundly insistent, later on a diffusely broadening bass supplement and intensively pulsating drumming avouch for an intense rock tinge. The formerly gently echoing, evocative guitar sequences too expand gradually in the course of the track, adapt a distorted and fierce colour of sound, which closes in an impetuous instrumental crescendo. It's with this impulsive, severely oscillating and pushing non-vocal finish that 'Cemetery Song' - once and for all - reveals its core, its heart, that obviously beats for rousing rock music.

Equally refined in progression and closure as 'Cemetery Song', equally melancholic and emotive, in both melodies and lyrics, yet refreshingly feisty too, is 'Unplayed Guitar'. Fast-paced, glowing drum beats increase the instrumental pace, a deep-toned still upbeat bass line installs further depth to the song, whilst exciting and vibrant riffage governs the composition and sets the rhythm. Nonetheless, it's the husky and poignant vocals that stand out - telling of fatal loss - and sonorously prelude the song's ponderously ringing drum closure.

[Lee Wylding (vocals/guitar) about his favourite song on 'Embers Of The Autumn'] >> I have to say it has to be "Unplayed Guitar" as the lyrics are very personal to me about my friend who passed away 5 years ago. It's my way of paying tribute really, and also even though we weren't best friends, even close, I most certainly enjoyed his company, and it's my way of saying to his family and close friends "I know you are hurting, but I am too, from a distance, I still miss him and I wish the pain would be easier for all those close to him."I love the sentiment of me not letting them down and having all this positive energy despite his death. <<

'Der Riese' puts forward a gripping and dynamic, expansive instrumental intro, and as fiery and fuzzy riffage, energetic drum beats, as well as edgy and throathy vocals unfold and intensify, the listener also approaches a suspenseful and incisive instrumental outro, with both urgent and blurry electronic guitar riffs and ambient (acoustic) guitar highlights making their mark.

[Stephen Roberts (bass) about his favourite song on 'Embers Of The Autumn'] >> I really like "Der Riese" due to the fact that it's the only flat out rock song on the album, and it stands out like a sore thumb.Its foo fighters blueprints mixed with a bit of classic Fireflys really makes it a step above most of the songs on Embers, well for me anyway!The bass and drums on that song are just so tight, and gel really well, even though we haven't played it live yet, it easily remains my fave song on the album. <<

'Autumnsoul', however, ceases to resonate with a mellow, museful and sentimentally longing piano finish, when only just the song was defined by repetitive and trenchant instrumental patterns - id est dynamic, tense riffage, infused with dim bass sound and rousing drum beats - brisked up by a sweeping even so light key arrangement, and sharpened by smooth vocals of radiantly raspy echo.

[Andrea Packer (drums) about her favourite song on 'Embers of The Autumn'] >> I like how the song (Autumnsoul) has lots of room to breathe, it sounds like it has lots of space between the instruments, with its various dropping in and out moments, plus the groove of the song really inspires me. It's fun to drum and I think it sets us apart as musicians from a lot of "wall of guitars" sounding bands. <<

'Hannah Said', 'Broken Pieces' and 'Paper Plane' all lay emphasis on eclectic and emotional vocal performances, hence accentuate the lyrical narrations within. 'Hannah Said' features catchy and feisty riffage to the (very stirring) point, imbuing bass sound and clangorous drum beats, yet it's the warm, silky still raspy coloured voice of The Fireflys' frontman first, the aglow and quaint polyphonic episode then, that makes the composition shine brightly and blissfully. The mellow still tensely vibrating vocals in 'Broken Pieces' put the instrumental pieces of the song together in chime: bluesy and ludic riffage, reserved but melodic drum beats are directed by expressive, dreamy and enhancing vocal layers. 'Paper Plane' in turn satisfies the audience with its minimalist but solid and perky guitar-driven sound, fascinates with thrilling, vigorous and infectiously raucous vocals.

It gets bluesy and soulful once more whilst indulging in 'Between The Tide' and 'Julianne' - there's a remarkable hook though: both tracks showcase intensely reverberative, enthralling and unexpected musical momentsChords are struck emphatically and in a sensitive, soft acoustic manner, embrace evocative and sentimental vocals of edgy timbre, as 'Between The Tide' suddenly adopts a bold, dashing and hazy tone quality for both drumming and riffage augment velocity, vigor and verve, persistently. When introduced to 'Julianne' the listener is taken in by suave and haunting vocal murmur, by orotund, rhythmic drum beats and a gloomy bass line. An overall heartfelt and languorous sound is deployed, deepens with an ethereal and distantly echoing, dreamy synthesized episode, and flows into a brisk and bluesy guitar finish.

The album's musical core is embodied by 'Hummingbird', plainly because it calls and relies on all of those characteristics that determine The Fireflys' music making: it involves a keen interaction between sweeping, fiery and ambient, museful melodies, presents an atmospheric and ardent (acoustic) guitar arrangement, bears sensitive and soulful lyrics pronounced by warm and rasping vocals. It's a glowing, catchy and eye-catching track among plenty of lyrically, melodically and emotionally appealing music gems.

Imagine once more - picture The Fireflys' music as a sparkling, fervent flame, reflect all its characteristics and apply it to the music of the british 5 piece rock outfit ….

Lee's vocal performance undeniably is the embers to set the fire that is acoustically imprinted, unaltered rock music: whilst the embers flicker fiercely, is of warm gleam, the flames' root obtrusively diffuses, glimmers dimly - displays a more crackling, dark and husky vocal facet - sinks and settles, murkily, duskily, lasting. Smoke soars, imbues the air, dissolves; it is ethereal yet insistent, signals the fire widely, like the instrumentation heralds and ushers virbrantly in the song.

It's a suitable image, in my book, one that suggests itself already with the album's title, one that outlines the specific distinctions of The Fireflys' composing: it's fiery, evocative and elusive, sentimental nonetheless absorbing music making, in the guise of dynamic still sensitive, acoustic-shaded rock music


Being ambitious and inspired musicians, The Fireflys have not been idle, ever since releasing 'Embers of The Autumn' - on contrary, their recent single 'Release/Repeat' is  available on itunes and amazon to purchase, on soundcloud to listen to and rekindles the audience's ardor for guitar-driven, piercing and poignant, genuine rock anthems. It's highly recommended to get a copy of the composition since all proceeds go to The Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign. It's also highly recommended to spend money on The Fireflys' music as their latest release too knows how to resonate with the listener in familiar manner: 

Whilst rather mild nontheless vibrant riffage sets the tone, it's the strong harmony of electrifying, ponderous drumming and of vigorous, gritty bass sound that sets the rhythm, it's the sonorous, vehement and sharply ringing vocals that infuse 'Release/Repeat' with glowing and heart-rending warmth, sentiment and soul. It's the imbuing and solid vocal glory, the at last rousing and sassy, alternating drum beats, the final ardent and blurry guitar play altogether that heavily lingers on. 

It's your turn now to not only support a great cause, but also great music

Find out more about the band here.

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