Release date: 27 January 2014
Nottingham, UK five-piece Falling Off Maps spent three years recording their self-produced debut album, A Seaside Town in the Winter, and hold onto your heartstrings kids because this one is a doozy. Fragile acoustic indie rock consisting of guitar, bass, electronics, piano, and percussion will make you cry. Glitchy electronic backbeats feel like the side-effects of your medication. If you haven’t already guessed, the lyrics have this pervailing melancholia and sighing reminiscence through deeply introspective songs that totally bare frontman Dave Wright’s soul. His falsetto strongly reminds me of Thom Yorke at its best, but he hasn’t quite mastered his full range; on a few songs he just pushes too hard and loses himself. The band is better when they don’t try so hard, as on “Neon Cross.” The first half is minimalistic acoustic ballads, and the second is more structurally dynamic and therefore far more rewarding. There’s bound to be filler on a 15-track debut, but the cuts are pretty damn cut. Play this when you’re on a porch swing and watching the rain fall down.
Skip for morning shows. Great for singer-songwriter shows. It’s self-released.
All clean! Cuts are in bold.
1. You Are Here – (3:21)
2. The Redeemer – (4:17)
3. Honest – (3:09)
4. Through the Forest – (4:10)
5. All My Fears – (4:14)
6. IDST – (4:59)
7. ITA – (2:55)
8. Down Past the Boatyard – (4:43)
9. Wake: Sleep (Pts. 1 & 2) – (4:06)
10. I Don’t Know What You Want – (3:11)
11. Wolf River / The Smoking Room of the Hotel Café – (8:12)
12. Neon Cross – (4:13)
13. Cathedral Fire – (3:30)
14. Flowers by the Roadside – (3:35)
15. Visiting Hours – (7:25)
RIYL: Red House Painters, Brendan Canning, Duster, Brianna Lea Pruett, Elliott Smith