The Echo and The Always ‘…and After That The Dark’ – ALBUM REVIEW

This The Echo and the Always article was written by Hugues Tyson, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Fraisia Dunn.

The five-piece Welsh band The Echo and the Always describe themselves as “indie synth pop – luminescently tangy” and in regard to their previous releases such as ‘Go Easy’ (which is also remastered on this album), that genre is definitely prevalent in their music.

That being said, a large part of the album ‘…and After That The Dark’ definitely gives off a much more indie rock vibe; with songs like ‘Antiquity’ in particular, where you listen to the first 20 seconds of the track and it sounds almost like a Fall Out Boy-esque bass line and verse.

‘Antiquity’ is definitely the strongest song on the album, combining the key components of what makes a good indie rock song. It’s a song that builds and develops; starting off with a rhythmic bass line, and working in a few guitar chords and piano keys to support lead singer Laura Hancox’s genre fitting vocals. Yet the key part of the song is the bridge between the first verse and the chorus; a trademark indie rock lull in intensity before the all powerful chorus. The lull works in tandem with with the idea of a building song; starting off working its way into a rhythm before slowing, thus placing all emphasis on what is a very strong chorus.

Yet as previously mentioned, The Echo and The Always do regard the synth-indie pop side of their music as being a key element and that is absolutely seen in the first two songs in the album, ‘History of Trees’ and ‘Go Easy’. Both can be regarded as easy listening, almost chirpy music that seems fitting for the summer, ‘History of Trees’ in particular. But even within those songs, it’s important to note a certain complexity to them; they start off as upbeat songs then develop into more indie rock, songs rather than indie pop.

With the introduction of the third song on the album ‘How To Burn a Bridge,’ the tone for the rest of the album is set, with a much more somber and calculative sound. Both ‘Antiquity’ and ‘Deep Breath’ are prime examples of this inner album development.

A key factor in all songs on ‘…and After That The Dark’ are the choruses; The Echo and The Always have an uncanny knack for writing catchy choruses that don’t soften or deter the song from the previous sound. When someone says a song has a catchy chorus, often the immediate reaction is to imagine a poppy, upbeat song however The Echo and The Always prove that isn’t always the case, especially in ‘Closed’.

The only slight negative would be a personal one, in that the song ‘Capable Of’ is a bit too repetitive and unfortunately slightly weakens what is overall a great album.

Ultimately ‘…and After That The Dark’ is a very strong album, delivering both complex music and a wide range of instruments and sounds for the indie fan as well as delivering a catchy, very listenable vibe for everyday music fans.

‘…and After That The Dark’ is out now via  Jealous Lovers Club.

The Echo and the Always bottom