Friday 4 May 2018

Album Review: Aquilo - ii (Side A + Side B)

'Aquilo - ii' Tracklist
1. I Could Fight On A Wall  2. Thin  3. Ghost  4. Six Feet Over Ground  5. Who Are You
6. The Road Less Wandered  7. Silent Movies  8. Now & Here  9. Seagull  10. I Lost A Bet
Released May 4th through Universal Music

Casting my mind back to 2014 seems like one hell of a long time ago. A lot has happened in the past few years not least to mention Aquilo's massive rise to popularity. Their debut album 'Silhouettes' was received to widespread plaudits cementing the pair's hard earned efforts and talent, a testament to their work, one they decided to split in to two halves for their latest LP, releasing the first part last year.

A stronger presence in the US, having preformed countless times and spending a good part of the past few years there, has no doubt left a lasting influence on their music. It almost seems a far cry away from Tom Higham and Ben Fletcher's pristine and picturesque landscape of Lancashire's Lake District. There's more electronic elements for one that have been steadily introduced as the sound has expanded alongside its production value, yet despite this, they've retained and clung on to their original vision throughout. A feat many lose sight of.

Through melted melancholic melodies, their music stands true. It's an honest work of art where the heart's most certainly worn on the sleeve as blood, sweat and raw emotion gets poured in to to their ink on the page. They've got a unique and delicate skill for blending seamlessly between happy and sad, teasing with your emotion and It's evident from the start. Wide screened, all in wonder and awe album opener I Could Fight On A Wall documents the pair's more upbeat side as they find confidence in forged friendships. The same positive affirmations present on Thin, a track that starts off subtle before burrowing in to your head with its intensely catchy melodies and grainy falsetto vocal hooks.

It's from here where things get teary. Ghost and Six Feet Over Ground bring us crashing back to earth form their mighty highs. The embroiled in emotion and the space within only gives the vocals more room to breath, in turn giving you more time to think, cast in stone by their lyrics. "But I drove home when my mind turned off for once. And its funny what you hear when you don't say a word".

As the record moves in to its second phase, Silent Movies picks up the pair's mournful roots once more as the track bends and creaks beneath its solemn weight. Elsewhere recent single Seagull brings together their electronic and analogue elements in elevated style as it sways side to side, the chime of its synth note melodies giving way to elongated guitar solos.

Whether it's the hushed, falsetto-induced vocals sung in blissful harmony to the resounding electronics or the transcending eloquent guitar lines, their sound is unapologetically theirs. You can take the pair out of Silverdale but you can't take Silverdale's immaculate, unblemished qualities out of their music. It might just be their most diverse output yet - and one that gets richer with each listen.

Aquilo will release their new album 'ii' on May 4th through Universal Music. You can Pre-Order it here.


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