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(47:25; Bad Elephant Music)
‘Bruised Sky’ is the latest album from We Are Kin, and shows a quite different approach from the band. Gary and Dan had been joined on the last album by Emma Brewin-Caddy (vocals, harmonies) and Lee Braddock (bass), and ‘Bruised Sky’ sees the whole band making writing contributions for the first time. In addition, Dan had decided he didn’t want any guitars on the album, so this time it is a rhythm section, keyboards, and vocals. The result is something which is very mellow for the most part, with far more attention to harmony vocals and vocal arrangements. Various different studio tricks are deployed on some of the songs, but the band work best when they just play straight, as Dan has a good touch on the keyboards while Lee is a very strong, fluid and melodic bassist and Gary hits the drums with panache. The production is for the most part quite simple, allowing the music to have the space it needs, and Emma has a voice with considerable power. They again contain a lot of pop elements, and the songs are even more melodic and constrained than before, but they do allow themselves to stretch out here and there. The result is an album which is pleasant, but not memorable in any way, and even though I played it far more times than normal nothing really stuck with me. I even had the feeling that if the tempo was upped then I would have been listening to something which could have been on the charts, which isn’t something I would normally listen to at all. Interesting but not essential.
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