Although he may be known more for his work with Super Furry Animals, Cian Ciarán is currently gearing up to release his second album They Are Nothing Without Us after the runaway success of his first album Outside In. Here at Soundscape Magazine, we were lucky enough to get an advance copy of it and it’s a great offering.
At thirteen tracks long, it is quite a lengthy release, but definitely shows the sheer amount of work and effort that has gone into making it, and opening track 5c Cotton 40c Beef is a great way to get the album going. With distorted guitars playing one hell of a catchy riff before the vocals kick in, the song quickly gets into your head before the song properly gets going! A fantastic way to get kick the album off to a running start.
Similarly, 43,000,000 also begins with a killer hook. The vocals aren’t quite as strong on this one, but the screeching guitars really make this track one to remember for me, as I love it when a track has a noisier edge to it. The track that follows, Sewn Up, is a direct contrast and takes a more melodic approach, which works really well. It’s quite a light-hearted sounding number and one you will definitely find yourself singing along to before too long!
Sleepless Nights takes a more chilled-out acoustic approach, showcasing the musical ability of Ciarán and is a nice relaxed little track that slots into the album very well. Unfortunately the next track No More drags a little, possibly due to the length, and I felt like it was a little repetitive and unmemorable, with the ending section feeling like it was long and drawn out – the simplistic and sparse instrumentation almost felt like the track was simply being padded.
The introduction of Bee Mine seemed to give the impression that the track was going to be a purely instrumental number (which wouldn’t have been a bad thing), so it was a little surprising to hear the vocals kick in on my first listen, but nevertheless it is a sweet and pretty track that is certainly one of the stronger tracks.
Down River has a great vibe to it, starting off with a slower feel before gradually gaining pace. The guitar in this one is utterly fantastic in the last minute or so and is overall an incredibly satisfying listen. Similarly, Peaked is another brilliant track with a standout drum performance, and it leads in nicely to eleventh track, You Are What You Breathe. One of the shortest tracks of the album, it is very to-the-point and it just feels like the track has everything – both a soft acoustic side and a noisier ‘full band’ side. Impressive stuff.
Closing track Pachamama is a great way to end the album. Another long track, it is almost entirely instrumental and it feels like the album has ‘closing credits’, which is a fantastic touch. The track has elements of all the other songs on the album and it just sums up the entire release in just over seven minutes.
Overall, this is a great release that looks set to do just as well, if not better, than Outside In. Don’t forget that you still have the chance to preorder it via pledge with some exclusive perks, so get onto it whilst you can!