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The Voices – We Just Want To Be Ourselves

todayDecember 28, 2021 120

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As 2021 draws to a close, we look forward to a new year and more great new music. But wait! 2021 has one more surprise tucked up her sleeve. Hogmanay will see The Voices return with their penultimate album We Just Want To Be Ourselves. The psychedelic gazers have very kindly granted me an exclusive preview of the album so, without any further ado, let’s dive in!

The opener ‘Feel’ sets the tone for the album. Echoey vocals reverberate over a sparse backing arrangement. A solid droning fuzz-out guitar binding the whole thing together. It feels warm and welcoming; a perfect start to the album.

‘Stay out of my mind’ bursts in with a pounding attack on the senses. “I love you” chanted like a mantra against spat vocals akin to the delivery in ‘Born Slippy’. This is a prime piece of nineties nostalgia wrapped up in a kick ass tune.

Next up is ‘Falling Apart’. Another upbeat number with the word violence being slowly spelt out over a pulsing psychedelic backing. This stunning track is notable for featuring a sample of Alex Turner’s now infamous 2014 Brit Awards speech. In the context of this song, it sounds epic!

The band channel their inner Spaceman on ‘Summer, A Girl’. Swirling, trippy tones drown the hypnotic vocals in a lysergic haze. I can see this track expanding out into a massive freakout jam when performed live.

We take the pace down a notch for the soporific ‘Death is in your eyes’. This track is a beautifully soothing and comforting way to chill out. It is equal parts ballad and epic slow burner. The way the song pivots mid-way through to lift us from our slumber is truly inspired.

My album highlight follows with the sublime ‘Hiding from You’. Right from the opening chords this song reels you in with its divine drumming and hooky chorus. With the trademark droning guitar underpinning the whole construct, the band have created the perfect single.

‘Honrada Purification’ slews a darker path with its serpentine and lolling gait. We hear flashes of electronica for the first time, lifting this song with stabs of glistening synth. That darker theme continues on the next song too. ‘Twist the Knife’ has an almost Happy Mondays vibe to it. From the guitars to the vocal delivery, it has that early Madchester thing underpinning it. Naturally, The Voices take that and make it their own brand of fuzzy scuzzy psych!

‘Take my hand’ is back in that bluesy, gospel like vibe that Spiritualized are famous for. It’s all riffs and blissed out, droned out guitar and organ. This track begs to be played at full volume when in the car. Its foot-to-the-floor intent is bound to see you approaching hyperspace before you realise it!

The band ease back on the throttle as we approach the end of album with ‘When Tomorrow Comes’, a meditative contemplation. Its hypnotic cyclical riffs and vocals draw you in and hold you in the tightest squeeze. You can feel the love in every note of this song.

We close out with ‘Oh My Heart’. It feels like a summary of the album. Its tender whilst maintaining that droning fuzzed out guitar. Its uplifting as well as wearing its darkness firmly on the sleeve. A beautiful close to a truly stunning record.

The Voices have always impressed me with their knack of really thinking out how to track list their albums. The songs always flow so effortlessly in and out of each other with never a need for a segue. That for me speaks to the consummate skill and experience this band commands. We Just Want To Be Ourselves is an evolution in the band’s sound, undoubtedly, however at its core it maintains all the hallmarks of a great Voices album.  I’ve been listening to this album for a couple of weeks now, and with each listen I hear more and more I love. That is the greatest compliment I could give. It’s the album that keeps giving.

We Just Want To Be Ourselves is available for pre-order on CD from December 31 on The Voices Bandcamp page. There may even be some cool stickers and badges involved too! Make sure and keep up to date by following the band on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube as well as their website.

Written by: Mark Anderson

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