By the time you’re reading this, 'A Year To The Day' will have been on record shop shelves for just over two weeks. Those who have already claimed this album as their own will need absolutely no convincing of its integrity and beauty. Those of you whose grubby mitts have not reached for this shiny golden nugget yet, why not?
From intrepid introduction to fond farewell nine tracks later, this proves a luscious slice of orchestral indie-rock, seeped in old-school miserablism with much more than just a song title to place you by the sea.
One minute you're paddling in the gently lapping shore, acclimatising yourself to the whimsical ocean The Zephyrs have already managed to surround you with, then suddenly the waves coming in thicker and faster. Before you’re even aware of it, you’re completely submerged. Softly sweet, butter-wouldn’t-melt vocals intertwine the swirling surf of brass, strings and pedal steel with healthy country-influenced undercurrents and Hammond Organ pastiches.
The waves may be crashing hard around your ears and the harsh, white breakers stinging your eyes, but hope springs eternal. Songs like 'Washed To the Shore' and 'Empty Eyes' are the very fragments of optimism that shatter an otherwise impenetrable bastion of helplessness.
The only drawback is, it’s over before you’ve had time enough to bask in your own self-indulgence.
8Jo Sutton's Score