Album Review... Ravens & Chimes - Holiday Life

Why didn’t anyone notice? Ravens & Chimes just re-released their second album “Holiday Life” as a UK vinyl edition packed with some exclusive remixes. The latest record by this New Yorker indie-pop band might be over about a year old, but still it is totally worth being introduced and heard of.

The record opens with “Division St” and shows right from the start its high quality. We get an intelligent arrangement of piano and acoustic guitars added to enjoyably gentle singing. By the first few chords we already know how pleasant this indie trip might become in the course of this “Holiday Life”.

But this album is not entirely quiet, at all. No, “Clarissa Explains” opens with a catchy drum beat and develops into a born-and-bred indie rock track. To support the piano there even are edgy guitar riffs and a bass line making this song a real must hear in an otherwise rather quiet collection of indie balladry.

A highlight is definitively “Night”. Here we get smooth acoustic rhythms underlined by a melodic piano tune and a subtle touch of flute. Completed with a chorus sung with two voices, this song is perfect for a nightly road-trip on a lonely motorway. 

“In Rooms” reminds with its additional choirs and sort of awkward background music in the stanzas of proms from 50s-movies. It is no wonder that the lyrics of this song are mainly about dancing and being “forever green”. But at the same time it is charmingly inviting and might convince one or another to shake a leg himself. 

The closer “Carousel” is once again an indie rock song in perfection. We get deep stanzas flowing into a bridge of acoustic arrangements and a catchy chorus, meaningful lyrics and on top enchanting combinations of strings and piano tunes which come to an end way too soon. This is a highlight hidden at the very end of a felicitous album. Thank God, it was not wasted on the soundtrack for The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, as originally intended, so you can listen to it without seeing werewolves and shiny vampires in your head. That would have been a shame.

Every single track on “Holiday Life” would fit perfectly on the soundtrack of a beautiful little independent movie. Not only because the melodies are so carefully composed or the different instruments are complementing each other in a delicate way, but the lyrics seem to speak wisely of life and death and everything in between. Ravens & Chimes created a stunning album full of inspiring memories which place themselves into the listener’s ear right after the first few seconds of each song.

Ravens & Chimes - Holiday Life
Out of 10: 9/10

Written by Sarah Beicht

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