The riffs are taut, the fuzz is well and truly brought, and it’s a hell …
With their sixth record, City and Colour have settled into the groove first tested in The Hurry and The Harm.
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The lowered backdrop of bass vocals that highlight Green’s falsetto bolster Imagination beyond another crooning meander. The ethereal (here used in a more relevant context unlike some two-bit indie PR releases) Astronaut truly does float over head whilst Green sings honestly about his desire to continue drifting on the road.
A cruise on dusk through Route 66 or a sunset over Yosemite, are scenery that City and Colour slot right behind.
It’s been a constant since Sometimes (personal favourite In The Water, I Am Beautiful highlights the theme beautifully); but now he’s able to fly whenever and wherever he wants, it hits that little bit harder. Touring on a budget necessitates squeezing every last drop out of a trip, but what happens when those extra few show dates aren’t necessary to boost anything but ego and a healthy bank account? The apology “Can’t you see I’m sorry that I wasn’t better at being who you wanted me to be?” in Living In Lightning feels like Green is still attempting to apologise for who he is.
Nevermind he’s been on that tact for six records because he still has an angelic voice selling out venues; no one can blame him. Add in a sorrow for an Earth that seems to be burning out of control and our shared experience is all we’ll eventually have. Therein lies the draw of City and Colour: the mournful life on the road, leaving friends and family behind is always backed by Green’s self confidence that sometimes it’s the right time to leave. A cruise on dusk through Route 66 or a sunset over Yosemite, are scenery that City and Colour slot right behind. Mountain of Madness is pure cinematic ‘third day of a binge at 2AM’, complete with echoing ride cymbal and thunderous kick. The fantasy of a life well lived and away from the darkness of the world at large is likely the eponymous Pill. Whether Green, who loves to mine sadness from another dark highway alone, would swallow it and finally settle himself is another question entirely.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Imagination, Astronaut, Young Lovers
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Manchester Orchestra, The National, Vance Joy