Curious Quail – After The Lights Failed
Curious Quail’s unique brand of alternative, folksy indie rock is here to demand your attention.
On After The Lights Failed‘s opening, and titular, track, you’d be forgiven for feeling that there is a hint of the Mumfords about the proceedings. However, the track builds, grows, and develops into a gorgeous burgeoning rumble of sound that lasts for less than two minutes and serves as an appetite whetting introduction to the album. Launching headlong into ‘Instant Gratification’, it’s clear that these guys are full of passion and songwriting sensibilities – the guitars rock hard, Dr. Alan Chen’s violin adds folksy cool, and the vocals soar on the chorus to epic heights, not least on the closing “woah-woah-woahs”. ‘The Villain’ cranks up the folk feel with its frenetic violin part, and brooding lead vocal, adding in some subtle chiptune sounds to give the track some extra spice and intrigue. While there is the sense that Curious Quail are very much embedded in the alt folk camp, their tendency towards hard rock guitars (check out the spluttering explosions and glorious arpeggios of ‘Giraffe’) and intelligent production technique means they have what it takes to stand out from the crowd. ‘Apart We Are Together’ is the kind of track that feels like you’ve known it for years from its first opening bars, like meeting an old friend, except this is fresh, new, original. For me at least, After The Lights Failed shows no sign of leaving my horizons any time soon, and finds itself as an album in strong runnings to make it into a Best Of 2014 list.