SONAA Sophomore Full Length
On their sophomore album, the collective that makes up Sons Of Noel And Adrian have built on the base of finger-picked guitars and dreamy folk that informed their debut, this time making more of the epic, post-rock moments and turning this record into something more orchestral, more experimental, which rewards with huge washes of noise coupled with the delicate, precise touch evident on their debut.
Opener The Yard opens sweetly, with the aforementioned finger picked acoustic guitar wonderfully blended with strings, and wind instruments slowly descending, before the pace picks up for the warm duel male/female vocal to come in singing a dreamy and addictive tune which sticks with you. Come Run Fun Stella Baby Mother has more of a traditional folk feel early on, but a gradual build of layers, including some clever vocal and keyboard melding backed by strings and Will Oldham-esque vocals flesh things out nicely. Black Side of the River washes you in strings in its opening moments; the rich tones of cello complemented by lighter violin are beautiful. The vocal lines are husky and melodic; at times the track all but fades out, apart from the steady picked guitar, before the full instrumentation sweeps in again, it's an effective technique and makes those full moments even more powerful.
The album closes out with the lively, sing long Matthew which gets you moving and then the sublime Heroine; a triumph of sweet but earthy melody and beautiful almost dissonant picking which sends shivers up your spine; the dreamy female vocal towards the end surrounded by heartbreaking strings especially. This album is a fantastic follow up to their excellent debut, expanding on the band's already lovely sound to create something more epic but still touching and intimate. Recommended.