Delay Trees - 'Let Go'
I don't think I'm giving away any secrets by revealing that, as music bloggers, we get some limited advanced glimpses into albums to get us thinking about what we might want to write. But in the case of Delay Trees new album 'Let Go', I actually couldn't bear to listen in advance of that release, simply because as excited as I was, it didn't seem right to be sitting alone on my computer, listening before everyone else heard it. To give a really bad analogy, I remember once making it to Scarborough on a Tuesday night in January for a football match, paying on the turnstiles and discovering I was the only Torquay United fan in the official 'away' end. The point I'm somehow trying to make is that experiences such as these are always best shared, whether they are both ill-advised and ultimately miserable (Scarborough) or hugely uplifting and positive (Delay Trees).
So listening to Delay Trees 'Let Go' on the same day as the other loyal Delay Trees devotees seemed the right thing to do, and I simply haven't been able to listen to anything else since. Whilst their last album 'Readymade' was a lovely release, 'Let Go' raises the bar so much higher, a charming and confident album, packed full of great melodies, thoughtful lyrics and sensational instrumental sections - all written and performed by a band who appear to have the perfect chemistry, as well as a complete love for their music. Straight from the beginning of opening track, 'Black Ice', we're launched straight into a series of delicately constructed melodies, and more individual tunes in the one track than many bands will manage in an album. However as Rami Vierula hinted in his interview with us recently, behind it all the lyrics are melancholy, written about loss and break ups. So whilst the musical tone of the album is upbeat, it is underpinned by sadness, which gives the impression that the writing of the album has been helping the process of grief. I love the rhythmic opening to 'Phases', and again the lyrics are at the forefront of the track - 'Nothing is for ever, that I've learn to accept.... phases after phases, again and again'. Pre-album single 'Brightest Eyes' is a glorious indie pop track' which I've listened to countless times since its release at the end of last year.
By the time I get to 'Best Things', I realise again that the consistent strength of these tracks is just such a huge testament to the talents of main songwriter Rami Vierula, who as we know from his other projects, is a prolific writer of music, and the reality is that he probably rejected a few dozen perfectly good songs to settle on these 10 outstanding tracks. 'Sound of Darkness' is more melancholy again, but a feature of this album is the stunning instrumental sections and this track has one of the best in the album - precisely 3 minutes 51 seconds in, after the most subtle of crescendos, the guitars and keyboards thump out a blistering and euphoric tune, which just covers me in goosebumps for a reason I'm yet to fathom.
But if there's one track which sums up this album', its 'Blame It On the Snow', a chunky guitar opening and an opening tune which heads in a different direction to that which I expect, a big chorus and another beautifully written instrumental section. I'd be more than happy if, at some point (maybe sometime after the 23:23 Christmas album?), Delay Trees released their own instrumental album just with jangly guitars, subtle changes in dynamics and occasional intense climaxes. 'Its Not Who You Are' is another flawless pop track, whilst 'Pale July' reminds me yet again that this actually is a pretty sad album lyrically - 'Dark clouds scattered around me, weighing on my back, pushing me down to the ground deep into the asphalt'. Inevitably the last track is entitled 'Hope', a delicate track with lyrics that I find are more difficult to interrogate, but which offers a thoughtful conclusion. I really don't thing things can get much better than 'Let Go', and I'm struggling to think of any comparisons. I guess Teenage Fanclub in particular have had a huge influence on my musical listening over the years, but both musically and lyrically, I feel I can identify with Delay Trees even more. As an indie pop album 'Let Go' is as perfect as you will get to hear, beautiful, clever, poignant and ultimately positive and life affirming. If there is any justice left in the world, this gem of an album will reach ever corner of the planet to be appreciated and loved as much as I do. But even if it doesn't quite make it to Sarangani or even Scarborough, 'Let Go' will still be adored by those who are fortunate enough to know this band, and it is a huge privilege to be able to share it with you all.
Nordic Music Review 9.5 /10
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