We don’t care who you are, you are all capable of shedding a tear or two. It doesn’t matter if you’re 6ft7, covered in tattoos and just out of prison, you’re still prone to a weep when the moment is right. It’s because we all have a heart, we are all fitted with the full range of emotions, so no matter what a person’s shell looks like, they’re still human. These personal emotions are directly connected to an irresistible note that’s found inside us all, which all the best musicians know is played upon our heartstrings, so when it’s reached even the hardest of men can cry. Why do we mention this? Well, today’s recommendation seem to have mastered that note with every tender song they write. This isn’t just music that affects your mood, these songs come with their own tear taps. We dare you not to cry.
Ever watched a movie with your other half and had that uncomfortable moment when you notice tears streaming from her face and find yourself doing your best to not seem like you too are welling up? Surely you had that exact moment when watching that sad montage in the film, Up, or that tearful scene in the film, Philadelphia? It’s a human thing. Well, new Sunderland duo, Let’s Away, make the kind of downtempo, cinematic music that’s so wonderfully melancholy and solemn that it’s difficult not to let it soundtrack a tear as it travels down your face. They’ve absolutely mastered a mixture of atmospherics and melody that swell up before they penetrate the mist with darting shards of piano notes or tender guitars. This isn’t the cliche-ridden sadness more familiar with the likes of Snow Patrol or Coldplay; this is grown up, serious heartstrings they’re playing, more akin to the reverbed rockabilly you might know from Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game, or Neil Young‘s Harvest Moon. We’re not talking about teenage tears of pretend heartache, this has genuine depth.
Their first release was a two-track EP that arrived at the turn of the year, with song titles that seem designed for sadness, Only In The Dark and The Art Of Self Control. The former has a pensive, sombre tone throughout, managing to make a song that feels rounded with very little actually going on. Soft guitars vibrate around whilst high notes on a piano are played individually like tears splashing upon a page. It’s utterly gorgeous. The latter song introduces more momentum with drums and a rumble of a bassline, but it’s still sound-tracking the inner turmoil of an incomplete heart. Their new EP just arrived and it expands their tones further. You & I is another slow motion scene that manages to devastate the listener, but it’s the second song that will surely find you welling up. Brittle Bones is so cinematic, so pensive and so arresting that should you try and resist a tear it will be about as uncomfortable as sitting alongside your better half during that Up scene.
As we said before, everyone has a heart. It doesn’t matter who you are, these guys will play it like an instrument. You have been warned. If you’ve recently experienced something upsetting, such as a break up, losing a loved one, losing your job, anything sad, then please please do NOT listen to this. Suggesting that this isn’t for the faint hearted would be something of a misguided statement, this is dangerous for anyone with a heart, faint or otherwise – it’s that strong. In the late 90s, as band’s such as Radiohead found hits in unlikely tracks such as Paranoid Android, we had a wave of melancholy music wash over the UK. We’re not suggesting that this band will be the start of a new age of reflection, but if the purpose of music is to move you, be it via dancing, or singing along, or indeed to produce an emotional reaction, then you will struggle to find anyone more skilled than these two. (MB)
LET’S AWAY – BRITTLE BONES
LET’S AWAY – THE ART OF SELF CONTROL
LET’S AWAY – YOU & I