Album Review: The Coronas – Trust the Wire

By on Thursday, 22nd June 2017 at 12:00 pm
 

The Coronas Trust the Wire album coverThe Coronas are back with their impressive fifth studio album ‘Trust the Wire’. After four previous albums, and a decade together as a band, The Coronas have made huge strides from their days at University College Dublin. A short stint on the major label Island Records, 4 years on and off touring and topping the bill at this year’s Sea Sessions in Bundoran. ‘Trust the Wire’ sees the band taking an interesting approach to their writing. Self-described as a “mature, atmospheric and understated sound”, the album shows more control within the slow building, reserved songs, whilst touching on ‘70s tinged electronic rock, sunshine soaked songs and of course a hint at the band’s indie folk roots.

There’s no better way to introduce fans to the band’s progression than album opener and first single ‘We Couldn’t Fake It’. So far from the band’s already established indie pop sound, a heavy use of electronic instruments seems a bit of a risky move in beginning the album with. However, it’s executed brilliantly, as the pulsating sound of the electric drum kit instantly draws attention before the beautiful amalgamation of swirling synths combined with the sharp texture of guitars captures a subtle nostalgia of old Coronas, as well as the excitement of their new direction. The single sets the mood for the album, which in a nutshell is about self-belief and trusting your instincts.

’A Bit Withdrawn’ continues the focus on electronic features. A simple drumbeat carries the song, creating space for the reverb-soaked accompaniment from the rest of the band. The introduction of a vocoder takes the track to a whole new level, its very careful use adding an ambient, dreamlike level to the track has never heard in The Coronas’ music before. Sandwiched between these two progressive tracks is a rousing, festival ready, summer anthem. ‘Real Feel’ contrasts brilliantly by producing a light-hearted, bouncy but driving, indie pop hit reminiscent of their earlier releases. In just the first three tracks, The Coronas prove how versatile they can be, by proving their newfound confidence in their musical maturity.

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‘Give Me a Minute’ marks the midpoint of the album, a heartfelt song about singer O’Reilly feeling anti-social after some live shows. Although some of the lyrics might be misconstrued as an ode to a lover, the lyrics actually speak from a moment of vulnerability and introversion. The song is constructed on a slow build, which again feels unfamiliar for The Coronas and their back catalogue of big indie anthems. However, no matter what sound the band is aiming for, O’Reilly proves he can always deliver a punchy, hook-ridden vocal melody with a stunning tone.

LP ballad closer ‘Look at All the Lovers’ was inspired by O’Reilly feeling envious of important couples in his life, namely his parents and bassist Graham Knox and his wife. The track begins with the smooth sound of an electric piano and features double-tracked vocals, which could be symbolic of O’Reilly’s thoughts. The slow build structure of the song allows for the gradual progression into a full sound, allowing the rest of the band to join in very subtly to support O’Reilly, maybe in more than one way. A self-indulgent end to the album and a little unlikely when it comes to closing a Coronas album, but if we take their word for it, to “trust the wire and do it blind” it was definitely the right choice.

‘Trust the Wire’, oozes strength and emotion from start to finish. Brimming with self-belief and honesty, it preaches a message of hope from a place of despair, felt through the lyrics and the band’s attention to detail within its delicate, intricate arrangements. It’s safe to say The Coronas are back, with a sound fizzing with ambition, with a subtle yet stately grandeur.

8.5/10

‘Trust the Wire’ is available now in Ireland from the band’s own label So Far So Good; its UK release will be tomorrow, Friday, the 23rd of June. If you would like to catch the Coronas live either during a short list of Irish summer dates or their European Autumn tour, go here. To read more of our past coverage on The Coronas here on TGTF, follow this link.

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