The Shadows by Tomorrow We SailRelease date: March 2, 2018
It’s hard to believe that almost four years have passed since I went to Strangeforms Festival 2014. I still have a vivid memory of the last minutes of ‘For Rosa’ performed by the Leeds-based orchestral ensemble Tomorrow We Sail. They were rather fantastic and I feel a bit of nostalgia thinking about it. I wish I could time travel.
After their debut with the album For Those Who Caught The Sun In Flight (review here) the seven talented musicians are now back with a new collections of songs titled The Shadows, released via the Manchester-based label Gizeh records.
The most appealing thing about The Shadows, on the first listen, is its dynamics. Again they manage to deliver a splendid mix of loud, quiet and expansive music that is difficult to describe if we want to tag it with a precise music genre. It’s so rare to find nowadays such a perfect blend of post rock, modern classical, folk elements and orchestral strings. On top of everything there are the multi-layered vocals that often become the main instrument and accompany you in a very singular music journey full of instrumental passages that display a real understanding of art music.
The opening ‘Side by Side’ is the bridge that links the two albums and I find it very emotional. It reminds me the stunning ‘For Rosa’ and it’s both delicate and powerful. There’s no better way to start an album: they go straight into your heart and you instantly fall in love with it.
A favourite of mine is ‘The Ghost of John Maynard Keynes’ that probably, together with the closing ‘The Golden Elevator’, represent the essence of the whole album.
‘The Ghost of John Maynard Keynes’ opens heavily with the deep, rich male vocals and atmospheric elements and the intertwine between the Tim Hay’s and Ella Blake’s vocals and the instrumental parts are gorgeous and form an interesting contrast. Here is where you recognise the power of the sound of Tomorrow We Sail. Here is where they conquer you.
The sound of the closing ‘The Golden Elevator’ caresses your heart and your mind. Listening to it with the eyes closed is like flying between gentle and melancholic notes. The exceptional grace of Ella’s vocals reassures you, hugs you and makes you feel in a safe place. They manage to establish a direct , very intimate connection with the listener.
I tried to walk away because I’m too sensitive. I couldn’t.