January 08, 2005

Trembling Blue Stars "Southern Skies Appear Brighter"

Trembling Blue Stars return after a few years of silence, and it’s obvious that they’ve not lost the knack for writing beautiful songs. Southern Skies Appear Brighter is a five song EP that serves as an advance to their forthcoming album, Seven Autumn Flowers. As they’ve not lost any momentum since 2001’s Alive to Every Smile, their sound is both more mature yet grounded in the styles you’ve come to expect—moody, introspective indie-pop.

The EP starts with the girl-sung “Helen Reddy,” and it’s a gorgeous, lush number (as well as a gorgeous Lush-style number!) with some of the best vocals Trembling Blue Stars have ever had—and it’s quite easy to see why it’s the lead single from their new album. After such a grand start, anything would be a bit anticlimactic—and following such a home run does take a little bit of power away from the next song, “A Beginning of A Kind.” “Open Skies” has a demo feel to it—mainly due to the drum machine accompaniment—but it really wouldn’t sound out of place on Her Handwriting. My personal favorite—and possibly one of my favorite Trembling Blue Stars songs, actually—is “Hurry Home Through the Clouds,” which has a sing-along vibe and…and…handclapping! It sounds really, really nice! The final track, “One Wish Granted,” is a gentle instrumental, accentuated with a sad cello and an almost electronica feel, and it’s both warm and loving AND sad and melancholy.

All in all, Southern Skies Appear Brighter is a nice little foretaste of Seven Autumn Flowers, and it shows that it may very well be Wratten’s masterpiece. Even if it’s not, this is still a masterful little EP.

--Joseph Kyle

Artist Website: http://www.tbstars.co.uk

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