93MillionMilesFromTheSun – Why Do We Fall Apart
Written by Mark Anderson on April 23, 2021
Doncaster’s 93MillionMilesFromTheSun have been responsible for some of the most effervescent sounds of recent years. The self-titled debut (2008) and Northern Sky (2011) brought them to our ears here at DKFM, and we have been enthralled by their sonic explorations ever since.
Nick Noble, founder of the band, now returns with his latest creation, Why Do We Fall Apart, his eighth full-album release.
As usual, Noble has penned all the tracks, and with lockdown and distance an issue, he also recorded all the instruments and did all the mixing. This is testament to the immense talent this insanely humble guy has.
My DKFM sister Deborah Sexton interviewed Noble for The Velvet Hum Radio Show, which aired Thursday, April 22 with the official release on Friday, April 23. She delved into the making of the album and all things 93MillionMilesFromTheSun. If you missed out, you can soon catch it on Mixcloud on the DKFM Select page. It is episode #38.
In the meantime, let’s hit play and get this review underway.
The album begins on the long, sultry intro to “Hold My Breath.” This is classic 93MillionMilesFromTheSun. Noble’s vocals ride the waves of washing guitar and steady, pulsing bass and drums. It’s a stunning introduction, and I can’t wait to hear what’s next.
The enigmatically titled “All Am Now” opens with a wailing guitar riff lifting this song into a different head space from the previous one. Noble has a knack for a chorus. I love how the lead guitar riff double times into a solid note as if vibrating in place. This has single written all over it!
We head into darker territory with “Everything Undone” next. This one could easily have been pulled from a Robert Smith song book. It’s that good. I adore The Cure and to hear those chord changes and guitar tones used so skilfully made me happy. Noble takes it and makes it his own. Just stunning.
In contrast, the instrumental “Window Ledge” has a summery, light, airy feel. The gorgeous overlapping glide guitar lifts the listener to a state of euphoria. You can almost feel the sunshine on your face while soaking up its textured sounds. It is bliss.
The eerie echoes of feedback lead us into the driving rhythm of “The View From Woodhead.” This is a song for a big stage. Noble taps into the Oxford sound for this barnstormer. The Ride influence is there in the vocal style and rhythm guitar, and he contrasts that with a Guthrie-esque lead guitar changing the tone of the song making it 100% 93MillionMilesFromTheSun.
“How I Feel” is the most densely vocal track of the album so far. Taking things at a more sedate pace, Noble sounds like a man baring his soul. The song moves like a ship in the fog, slow and deliberate. The acoustic outro is a lovely, unexpected touch as well.
In “If You Wonder” I pick up early Boo Radleys’ influence until we get to the chorus. That is all Noble. It’s hooky and lifts the song to another level. He has a knack of making you think a song is going one way and then moving off in another.
“Now or Yesterday” taps into the same energy that powers “The View From Woodhead.” Its anthemic, epic nature is overwhelming and all consuming. You melt into wave after wave of sonic goodness coming from the speakers. I lost myself for its entire six-minute duration. It’s dark, dreamy and devastating.
Then we are taken straight into the chorus of my personal favorite “I’ll Never Know.” The repeating riff hooks you in and holds your attention as Noble explores his love for The Stone Roses. Much like before, while the influence is there, the song is all his. When he sings “Where did you go, I’ll never know” I challenge you not to leap up and jump about as if you were front and centre at a hometown gig. What a song.
As if to slowly bring us back down to earth, the instrumental “We Are Left Behind” works its magic. Simultaneously euphoric and chilled, this track is the perfect way to lead us toward the final song of the album.
The aptly named “Everything Goes Wrong In The End” brings the proceedings to a too-soon conclusion. This is classic 93MillionMilesFromTheSun, with heavy guitars, pulsing riffs and pounding drums. Noble’s vocals really cut through the mix making it feel more personal and somehow, like he is letting us get close, just once.
The theme of love, loss and despair is eminent throughout this work; however, and this is a big however, as a listener you don’t feel despondent or lost at all. In fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s the polar opposite.
Noble has crafted a cohesive collection of comforting and uplifting songs weaving his magic deftly as he goes. It’s one of those albums that the more you listen, the greater depth and hidden sounds you discover. It is a highly rewarding experience you will savour for years to come.
Why Do We Fall Apart is available from 93MillionMilesFromTheSun Bandcamp page. The initial run of CDs is sold out, but a second pressing has been ordered with a limited number available for pre-order now.