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Album review: The Travelling Band - Sails

PUBLISHED: 11:12 08 August 2017 | UPDATED: 11:12 08 August 2017

The Travelling Band - Sails

The Travelling Band - Sails

Archant

Deftly executed and sweetly sung, Sails is morose Manchester indie the way it should be.

The Mancunian indie-rock outfit shed two members during the recording of their fourth album, but it doesn’t appear to have dimmed their confidence or verve.

Their sound has been described as Mancunian Americana, and it’s not far off when taking in lead singer Jo Dudderidge’s dark lyricism and the pedal steel guitar, violin, horn and handclaps of Mopping Forwards.

There’s a fey quality to Dudderidge’s vocal that’s very Belle & Sebastian, but it’s cut with a darker side – current single Last Night (I Dreamt Of Killing You) references The Catcher In The Rye and reflects on the brittle nature of relationships over jangly guitar, soft brass and the driving thuds of drummer Nick Vaal.

What marks this record out from the also-rans is its arrangements – the lugubrious piano sway of Loser is dressed with strings and clarinet for a beautifully morose tone, the uplifting surge of Unlike You is narcissistically self-affirming and the atmospheric Failure Is A Bastard is artfully crestfallen.

One of the most promising indie albums of 2017, the band play the album in full for the first time ever on Thursday Aug 10 at The Water Rats in King’s Cross, supported by label-mates Elle Mary & the Bad Men.

Rating: 4/5

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