There Will Be Fireworks - The Dark, Dark Bright
Record Label: Comets & Cartwheels
Release Date: November 26, 2013
Very few people will know about this record’s existence – let alone give it a listen. That’s a shame. It took There Will Be Fireworks nearly four damn years to write this, and it shows. The Dark, Dark Bright is a beautiful record, and an expansive one. There’re a plethora of sounds attempted on this album, and almost all of them are executed perfectly.
While 2009’s self-titled album was a shimmery post-rock masterpiece, the follow-up EP, 2010’s Because, Because brought some slight folk influence into the bands’ EITS-esque sound. The band pulled it off far better than I could begin to express in words. Clearly the band is not scared to experiment, and The Dark, Dark Bright sees TWBF delving even deeper down that path, toying with a variety of sounds.
There are, as expected, hints of folk (the opening “and our hearts did beat”), and sweeping, grandiose post-rock (probable best song “River”), but then there are songs we never could’ve predicted of TWBF. There’s a hint of ambience here (“Ash Wednesday”), an almost Brand New-like track, appropriately featuring the best lyrics this band has ever written (“Here is Where…”), and at times the band almost dabbles into pop, such as single “Youngblood,” or the chorus of “South Street,” which finds Nick McManus declaring that “The sky can fall tonight/for all I care.”
Speaking of, McManus’ voice is thickly accented. To some, this could be a detriment, but most should find his vocals a unique treat found in few other albums of this ilk. Regardless, it’s hard to criticize a vocalist who sings with as much conviction as he does (see: “River”). McManus isn’t the only one showing conviction here – The Dark, Dark Bright is bursting with some of the most gorgeous instrumentation of 2013. The lush, swelling “River,” the dreamlike “Ash Wednesday,” the Moving Mountains tribute “So Stay Close” are all proof of that. For many people, The Dark, Dark Bright will be nothing – they’ll not even be aware of its release. But for those who do hear it, it’ll mean everything. It’s the kind of album you get lost in, and never want to find your way out of.