Review by Shannon Shumaker
A Silent Film have a way of making even the smallest moments seem big in their new self-titled release. The duo uses quiet moments that contrast with big, bright choruses and memorable vocals to create a very versatile and fun to listen to album, and on top of that, the songs are catchy as hell and have a way of worming their way into your head and getting stuck there.
“Something To Believe In,” the first song on A Silent Film, is a perfect example of the strong songwriting on the album. The first track isn’t a big or explosive entrance by any means, but it grows and grows as it moves forward, blooming into an inspirational chorus full of strong lyricism that everyone can relate to. Lines like, “I’m not waiting any longer/You give me something to believe in,” or the echoed, “Tomorrow is another day” are sure to get stuck in your head. The following song, “Lightning Strike,” however is that huge, explosive beginning that most listeners expect from a first song. With a sound very similar to The Killers, “Lightning Strike” has those same electric elements as the first song, but coupled with strong guitar work, this song feels a lot fuller and more energetic than the first.
Following “Lightning Strike” is easily one of the most diverse sounding songs on the album, “Chinese Lanterns,” which feels just how the title would suggest. There is a very specific sound to this song that cannot be found on any other songs on the album, and the imagery both in the lyrics and the instrumentals is remarkable. At any point in this song, especially during the big, floating chorus, you can close your eyes and feel as if you’re there.
The differing sounds on A Silent Film are absolutely what keeps the album so dynamic and fun to listen to. Diverse songs like “Chinese Lanterns” sound incredible alongside songs like “Paralysed,” which hosts some big drums, catchy vocals and a sweeping electronic part that will worm its way into your head. The songs couldn’t be any more different, but they work together on this album, and the result is sure to keep listeners interested as it moves forward. Following, “Paralysed,” for instance, is “Evergreen,” which is emotional and slow. “Evergreen” like “Chinese Lanterns” sounds completely different from the rest of the album, carried by a strong orchestral string section and very low vocals, making it absolutely beautiful and a total standout. “Lavender Fields” is another great example of the diversity on the album, as it is carried mostly by acoustic guitar and is very ambient and floating. No two songs on this album sound alike.
“Where Snowbirds Have Flown” rounds out A Silent Film and keeps the momentum up until the very end. This song is absolutely stunning, the imagery is amazing again, and the strong instrumentals absolutely back it up, as it piano is beautiful alongside the strong vocals. You can really feel the mood of “Where Snowbirds Have Flown” before it leads you into the final song, “Losing Hand.”
It’s hard to pinpoint the strongest aspect of A Silent Film, because there are many elements at work that make this album as strong as it is. Quiet moments like “Evergreen” or “Lavender Fields” accent the bigger sounds on songs like “Paralysed” or “Lightning Strike,” creating a strong versatility without making the entire album sound disconnected or choppy. The instrumentals work side by side with the vocals to create not only relatable and catchy songs, but also beautiful imagery in songs like “Chinese Lanterns.” A Silent Film must be listened to in whole to get the full experience, but trust me when I say that it will be no chore. This is an album that will be on repeat for a long time to come.
Listen to "Lightning Strike" or "Something To Believe In"
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