Human Spring opens with a traditional European folk refrain on strings, one of many snapshot details that carry the album just beyond the mainstream and into the unexpected. Act Natural soon dives into the layered and thickly orchestrated soft rock that characterises most of the cut, with offbeat handclaps and an uplifting acoustic guitar riff. It’s a reflective track with a symphonic swell of sound that rises and sweeps you up into an optimistic naivety with a dark undercurrent.
For Tonight We Rest (Leaves) provides a brief moment of respite, a well-placed and sparse ballad within the structure of the thickly textured album. A mix of the exultant celebration of Jonsi and the pop anthems of Coldplay, the LP loosely follows the journey of a conflicted soldier but the joyful music isn’t particularly political despite the wordplay and revolutionary allusions of the title and cover art. The album singles are the fun upbeat tracks, and although overall Buchanan never quite reach the heights of pure originality, the rollicking Run Faster has some lovely falsetto melody lines and the last few down-tempo tracks hit hard, especially the album closer, An All Clear? Like a microcosm of the entire album, frontman Josh Simons sings, “I don’t wanna fight if there’s an all clear”, and weaves a personal and resonant story about a little brother building a fort in his bedroom. The vocal harmonies that decorate the whole album are showcased here and the tune finishes with a piano reprise that patters and then fades into a conclusive silence.
This debut is polished, with a collection of those magic moments of whimsy and temperament that will soon enough set them apart from the pack.
Free daily music news
© 2012–13 Street Press Australia Pty Ltd