Viola Beach’s posthumous album not only reminds us that we must enjoy life while we can, but provides us with the soundtrack to do so.
“I don’t even really know what to say,” croons Viola Beach frontman Kristian Leonard, as he takes us through this stunning, eponymous album. It’s a refreshing listen and, this, a poignant lyric tinged with the utmost sadness. Because the band are no longer here to witness its success, and there aren’t particularly many words to describe the feeling.
In February, the Warrington-based band, along with their manager, were involved in an utterly horrific, and fatal, car crash. The music world went numb at the loss of such young lives, and their single, ‘Swings and Waterslides’, entered the charts. One may wonder why it wasn’t there in the first place.
Last week they went one better, topping the album charts as their posthumous album was released; nine tracks pulling together their recordings and live sessions and delivering a refreshing, yet heartbreaking, listen, from four young boys taken long before their time.
And so we must not dwell too much. We must mourn, but celebrate too. Happiness must override any feelings of sadness when listening to this album. Each and every track is overflowing with joy and energy – happiness is at the very core of this album, and Viola Beach would have wanted us to enjoy it.
It’s an incredibly upbeat listen, with energy in spades. The tracks seamlessly blend into one another, with gorgeous vocals from Leonard complimenting the jangling guitars perfectly. Duo ‘Like a Fool’ and ‘Go Outside’ are quirky and buoyant. Even ‘Call You Up,’ – a rare downtempo track – is utterly stunning; a real joy to listen to.The delivery of the eponymous album is entirely confident. They were a band at the beginning of their careers, yet they play as if they had been in this for ten years.
There’s no wonder Warrington love them. And, given time, the rest of the UK would have taken them to their hearts too. Their record has brought to the fore everything they intended: a refreshing, energetic collection of songs, epitomising everything the band stood for.
Upon every listen we should remember this. Mourn the sad loss of five lives taken too soon, but embrace the happiness. If anything it should remind us of that tired, old cliché that life is indeed far too short. Enjoy it.