May 29, 2024

Keston Cobblers Club – Wildfire

TRICOLOUR RECORDS –    15th June 2015

Nicely straddling genres, Keston Cobblers Club have a dramatic outlook and a pile of powerful songs, right from the opener, Laws, all dark and lovelorn. Partially adopted by the folk community (they are playing the Towersey Festival this year) yet they’d appeal to an indie kid, especially one who likes kitchen-sink drama lyrics and have vocal moments that remind me of Orlando from The Maccabees. They distinguish themselves through the sound of a bigger band, one with brass, a tuba bass-line, a backing chorus. There are elements of learning from the choruses of Fleet Foxes and clear similarities to the superb Moulettes. The special feature is the drama of the songs – each seems to have a solid back-story since they inhabit a fully-realised world.

Songs are the work of brother-sister duo, Matthew and Julia Lowe, producing separate songs, one poppier than the other, both benefiting from clever and busy production that fills in a radio-friendly sound that has multiple elements buzzing on top of each other. Big pop tunes and biiiiig choruses seem to be as natural to this band as picking up an instrument.

This is only their second album after five years as a band, three years after the debut. This set sees the addition of synths, orchestral sweep and multi-layered choir to deepen the effect. Drums are really important to this band and the punch to each song is considerable. The momentum is considerable and the maturity is a match to many. The arrangements will appeal to fans of folk queens, The Unthanks, while sparser songs, like Half Full, will catch the attention of those who like naked emotion and a sweet pop melody. You’ll take away the colour of the brass, the impetus of the drums and rising, rousing choruses. This is a terrifically accessible record.

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