Another Sky return with an evocative second EP that rivals their stunning debut…
Another Sky are one of those bands that sound immensely bigger than they are. Last weekend, they concluded a UK tour stopping off at such venues as Sheffield’s Café Totem, Liverpool pub The Shipping Forecast and the tiny Newhampton Arts Centre in Wolverhampton at which their stunning performance was received by less than 50 people. But at the moment, that’s part of their charm.
It’s rare to come across a band that established their sound from the very first single. The London four-piece debuted just last year with the spectacularly produced and confidently-written ‘Forget Yourself’ which oozed with flair, originality and, above all, individuality which they have managed to maintain in their subsequent releases and now their second EP, Life Was Coming In Through The Blinds.
Another Sky know how to write a full, welcoming melody, and opening track ‘The Cracks’ (their most recent single release) is a particularly powerful example. The verses are built on an uplifting arpeggiated sequence which also develops into the foundation of the whole song. At first listen, many are lead to believe Another Sky’s lead vocalist is male due to the coarse, deep nature of their vocals, however, it is actually none other than the phenomenal Catrin Vincent whose incredible vocal control is something to be envied. She provides the track’s enthralling pinnacle moment in the chorus, showing off the angelic top end of her incredibly wide range. ‘The Cracks’ offers something that captures the listeners’ attention in the same way their second single ‘Avalanche’ did for many. ‘The Cracks’ took a few months to carefully weave together as each delicate thread was created in a different band member’s bedroom as they bounced ideas back and forth between each other. But you’d have no idea thanks to the impeccable production which leaves the most lasting impression of all of the four tracks.
Track 2 is another old friend, Another Sky’s first single release of the year ‘Apple Tree’. Perhaps not as strong as the previous track, ‘Apple Tree’ offers a contrasting feel, glued together with an effortlessly catchy guitar rhythm. Consisting of a freely bending vocal line concluding on an impossibly high note, ‘Apple Tree’ encompasses ‘fun’ for listener and performers alike.
The title track is placed third and offers something Another Sky have only teased with previously – strong Imogen Heap-style vocal harmonies. Alternating textures, highly clever production techniques and the use of layering to create ever-evolving soundscapes are reminiscent of early Everything Everything. Sudden, almost unnerving moments highlight another characteristic of the band’s intricate personality. It’s at this point you realise how each track, though approached differently and offering something different, is obviously part of a set. In the writing stage, the band didn’t set any firm rules. They focused on the writing itself rather than the final production. However, each and every track has that ‘Another Sky sound’. Only a talented band can achieve that so early on in their careers, especially if it wasn’t consciously at the forefront of their minds.
The fourth and final track ‘I Don’t Hate You’ provides a valuable insight into Catrin’s raw vocals as they aren’t hidden behind massive soundscapes, they’re out on display in their full glory. A slower addition to the EP, ‘I Don’t Hate You’ is a fitting end to a rollercoaster of an EP. A gently uplifting track with a hint of melancholy as this glorious EP comes to an end. The stripped back nature is soon rectified as a stunning reverberating soundscape leads us into the magnificent final chorus, accompanied by crunchy guitar to add that Another Sky edge.
Loosely inspired by ‘The Wisdom Of No Escape’ by Pema Chodron, Life Was Coming In Through The Blinds argues for those moments of joy and triumph in our everyday lives which is incredibly pertinent in today’s society. Created over the course of 12 months, Another Sky have managed to achieve the best possible outcome: a continuation of their previous outstanding productions.
Life Was Coming In Through The Blinds will be available to stream and download from all major platforms on Friday 14 June. The band are playing their biggest ever headline show at London’s Village Underground on 24th September. Catch them now before they inevitably become massive! Tickets are on sale here.