NME.COM

Blush

[a]Bows[/a] creator [B]Luke Sutherland[/B] is a man for whom the onset of summer is always tempered with the promise of storm clouds...

Bows creator Luke Sutherland is a man for whom the onset of summer is always tempered with the promise of storm clouds. Once a member of avant-rock stalwarts Long Fin Killie, he now consorts with Mogwai, and last year his glowering debut novel Jelly Roll was published to acclaim. But the rich swirl of 'Blush' proves that Sutherland has finally found his idiom, and it's a glorious maturation.



Opener 'Big Wings', like most of the album, seethes with strings, echoing Scott Walker's wondrous 'It's Raining Today', before whomping bass drums and clipped breaks dissipate the portentous gloom.



Like Archive and Alpha, two other undervalued exponents of this baroque-beat sound, Bows set a mood and shape tunes around it. Ruth Edmond's hushed vocal on 'King Deluxe' is dwarfed by orchestral flurries, yet like Bjvrk on 'Homogenic' she finds subtle, quiet melodies amid the autumnal haze that linger long after the bows have fallen still. Even the instrumental 'It'll Be Half Time In England Soon', which is focused on the delicate John Barry-esque ebb and flow of the violins, resonates with a simple power.



This sensuous aesthetic is rarely oppressed by any sense of urgency, yet Sutherland still proves able on 'Britannica' to scatter war-like brass and hysterical violin stabs over pounding jungle breaks without upsetting the languid flow of the album. And despite the rarified atmosphere, 'Blush' is never less than thrilling.
8 / 10

Share This

More Reviews

'Supersonic' - Film Review

This new film about Oasis’s glory years is rousing, heart-rending and really f**king funny

Movie

Pixies - 'Head Carrier' Review

Delving into the murk and noise of their past, the Boston veterans’ second post-reunion album is a superlative indie rock collection

Album

Slaves - 'Take Control' Review

This unruly second album delivers a sucker punch to anyone who had the Kent duo down as a novelty act

Album
Connect With Us
This Week's Magazine