Thula Borah ‘Live Secretly’

Thula Borah 'Live Secretly'

This review of the latest EP from Thula Borah took over 12 hours to write, not because I had a stunning case of writers block, but because I tried writing it at night and the album relaxed me so much I fell asleep on my keyboard. Below is both halves of the review written pre and post sleep combined, with the 20 page asdfasdf from my head removed (that may be an exaggeration, it was more like half a page then my head must have rolled off the keyboard)

Because of the type of song featured on this album, it’s hard to review track by track, but I’ve pointed out the moments that stood out for me. To my ears it is almost a sound track to an evening rather than collection of songs to play randomly. I couldn’t see me going “I fancy listening to..*song title*”, rather it would be the full album or nothing.

‘Organic Paranoia’, the almost sci-fi sounding instrumental track begins the album. Following is ‘Skye Falling’, with its clean guitar and obvious vocals it is probably the most traditionally written song on the album. A slice of alt rock mixed with a dose of ambience before the band crank up the song length and for about 26 minutes, go off into a much more ambient world starting with ‘Murder’, a song that doesn’t sound anything like its name suggests.

The overall album sound I’d sum up as relaxing, there are sudden bursts of energy like in (‘Null Interface’), but generally the laid back spirit prevails. I wouldn’t listen to it before heading out of an evening, but if I was spending the night in with a book or something, I’d be inclined to put this on, it’s not distracting; there are no sudden guitar solos or big choruses to take you out of the book. Suddenly this review is turning into one of those wine review types, but instead of saying drink with fish (I’m not a wine fan so I’m not going to run with this analogy too long), I’m saying listen to this album while reading. It sets the right kind of mood.

The final and longest track, ‘Violence Is Forever’ is my favourite track on the album, clocking in just below 10 minutes it’s a bit of a trip of sounds. Around the 5 minute mark they almost stray into Iron Maiden territory (not the trade mark gallop, but the sort of building chords on the longer epics they do these days) before slowing it down again.

If I was listening to this without my review hat on, just as music, I might think it is almost a bit samey, but my music taste and this sort of music don’t really go hand in hand. However, reviewing it means I’m being neutral in taste and I’ve got to say, this is a good album. I think I said this last time I reviewed the guys, though the tracks are long, they never seem all that long. With so many bands, you get a long track and after only 4 minutes, are kind of bored. Here though, you look at the play time and find you’re at the end of an 8 minute + song yet only feel like you’re a few minutes in.

Before wrapping this up, I want to give a nod to the production. No one is too loud or too quiet, and most importantly it is consistent over the course. No sudden crackles from a peaked mic, no strangely loud vocal line or anything else you often find on unsigned releases. So that’s it, hit play, open a book and enjoy (or hit play, get in car, relax too much, sleep, crash, die. Your call).

‘Live Secretly’ is availve online via iTunes and direct from the band via their bandcamp page.

C.Morton

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