The very name of the band Tomorrow We Sail evokes an aura of journeys into far off horizons full of promise, an apt metaphor for the creative odyssey the Leeds-based band has been on since their formation in 2009. Their 2014 debut, For Those Who Caught The Sun In Flight, was the culmination of four years spent developing the euphonious and stirring blend of folk, post rock, neoclassical, and atmospheric elements they can now claim as their own signature sound. What followed was a restless period of musical exploration and a traveling hiatus with the band eventually reuniting less one member (violinist David Ramsey who remained abroad) to work on a new record. Without venturing any conjecture about the personal sojourns that took place during the intervening years, what is abundantly clear is how much band has grown musically. Now out after three years in gestation, The Shadows finds the six-piece collective spreading their wings wide and soaring to majestic new heights on the strength of potent songwriting, intricate arrangements, and engaging vocals.
Especially impressive is the way the band pulls off juxtaposing different genres within cohesive songs without blurring any lines or blunting the most compelling aspects of what each one brings. Organic crescendos worthy of the frequent comparisons to Sigur Rós easily coexist with cerebral, narrative-centric folk that brings to mind bands like The Decemberists. The balance of Tim Hay’s earnest vocals and Ella Blake’s dulcet tones works wonderfully and soars on the back of Angela Chan’s string arrangements and support from multi-instrumentalist Matt Clarke while rhythm section of bassist Tom Illett and drummer Alistar Hay is both rock solid and finely nuanced. In true collaborative fashion, The Shadows becomes far more than the sum of its individual parts. The tender moments are deeply affecting and when it surges & peaks it is nothing less than exhilarating. Once this record gets into your listening rotation, expect to remain there for quite some time.
The Shadows is now available from Gizeh records on CD and vinyl LP as well as digital download including album art & photography by band member Ella Blake.