Released: 14th January 2013
Label: Domino

‘Becoming A Jackal’ is one of my favourite albums of recent years, this meant that I have been waiting with great expectation for the follow up. After listening to ‘Awayland’ it becomes very apparent that Villagers are more than a one album band, Conor O’Brien has proved himself to be a songwriter of great depth and intelligence. The album is captivating and enchanting from start to finish, it is an album that you can really dive into head first and enjoy every sound that is made, from the beautiful acoustics, pounding percussion and compelling vocals to the haunting electronics.

‘My Lighthouse’ opens the album with that unmistakable sound of Conor O’Brien’s vocal that makes you stop what you are doing and focus your entire attention on the song. ‘Earthly Pleasure’ builds in a dark and moody way, before exploding with passion and belief, the amount of lyrics that are crammed into this song show that Conor is a songwriter with a lot to say. ‘The Waves‘ is already one of my contenders for song of the year, the combination of beats, rhythm’s, guitars and lyrics float effortlessly above the cosmic sounds.

Further highlights on ‘Awayland’ include ‘Nothing Arrived’ which provides the album with an upbeat melody to disguise the deep, thoughtful lyrics, “I waited for something, And Something died, So I waited for nothing, And Nothing arrived”. ‘Passing A Message’ will completely immerse you with its beats and lyrics and ‘Grateful Song’ will be sure to send shivers throughout your whole body, the way the song moves from sparse to joyful moments is effortless.

‘Awayland’ is an album that with each listen you will discover something new and beautiful. Two albums, in what is sure to be a long line of albums, and Villagers have proved themselves to be one of the most creative and intelligent bands of modern times.

Steve Tay

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