Saturday, 16 July 2016

Album: Why We Run - Holograms

Why We Run Holograms

Why We Run - Comfortable Lie

Info: Why We Run’s debut single 'Comfortable Lie' arrived in early 2015. The song was accompanied by a distinctive "mobile camera obscura" video which caught the attention of a diverse range of people, including Gotye and Rob Thomas who both shared it with their fans. 

Since then, Why We Run have released several further singles which together have amassed over 400,000 streams across Spotify, Apple Music, Soundcloud and YouTube; while also enjoying significant radio airplay and 4 or 4.5 star reviews from six different Triple J presenters on Unearthed. In March this year, inspired by a near-drowning experience, the band revealed a touching second video for 'A Moment to Return'. 'Holograms' is their debut album. 

Holograms has been in the works for some time now, with the first single released in February last year, finally at the end of last month the full LP was released by the Sydney-based four-piece. Opening with an energetic burst of drums, 'A Moment To Return' (below video) rolls freely and is filled with all of the intent of a classic indie hit, melodious guitar riffs and earnest vocals lending themselves well to its thematic intention. Second track 'Hallway' is an interesting early shift in mood, the marimba keyboard giving the song a weirdly 80's electronic feel, whilst singer Nic Cogels manages to balance morose with optimistic vocals as the track reaches a sweet guitar-driven climax.

Why We Run - A Moment To Return

A ballad reminiscent of Band of Horses, 'Hologram', Why We Run sway softly from chorus to verse, gradually enveloping the early part of the song in more layers of sound until it hits the punchy heights and classic rock guitar riffs in the final quarter. Another single release arrives in 'Where I'll Be Waiting', whilst the songs theme is serious, addressing mental health issues, they retain their upbeat formula musically, letting the lyrics carry the message; 'I feel, there's no connection, breaking all of me, it doesn't make it right' and 'Your arms, if only they could hear, people living on, chemical tell me I don't know, I tell you you should go, where I'll be waiting for a miracle'.

Still possibly my favourite track on the album, the very first one I heard from the band, 'Comfortable Lie' (top video) gives a good dollop of depth both musically and artistically to Holograms, it's hypnotic, and so casual that you slip off into the deep end into Why We Run's sound very happily. When the track truly takes off at the 2:30 mark it feels like the best of The National or Interpol, two bands who are masters at executing crescendos within their songs.

'Rust' is a track that may offer a small hint of one of many potential musical forks in the road WWR could pursue in the future, it's Moog-like intro and subtly layered vocals, coupled with sharp and off-timed percussion all lend themselves very well to an atmospheric and ambient electronic-based style of music, another definite highlight on the album for me. I was so happy that all of the singles which were previously released didn't mean the remainder of the album was merely filler in between, 'Firebird' again is a strong offering, the second last track on the album is familiar yet distinct from its companions. It also neatly highlights the individual talents of all four band members, from keys to vox to guitar and drums, all feeling and sounding free and expressive here. 

Closing with a wave goodbye, and a fitting end to the album, 'Summer Tale' is mostly instrumental and calmly lets the music do the talking and set the tone. At times meandering, seemingly aimlessly, yet with intent, your last impression of the album is perhaps how the band intended it to be, ultimately a chilled, uplifting and thought-provoking internal monologue. There is plenty of well-constructed variety across Holograms' tracks, which make it so enjoyable, you are never bored and always very pleasantly surprised, a debut LP to be proud of.

Why We Run Holograms Album

You can pick up Holograms on the usual platforms here.

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