Four – Sunday Morning (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Sometimes it is all about being in the right place. A place that makes you happy, that inspires, that connects to something less than tangible and brings something out of you that you may not even realise you had. And so it was that Andrea Cola found himself at the iconic Esplanade Studios in the Treme district of New Orleans working with none other than Daniel Lanois, an experience that informed and inspired the songs that make up this, Sunday Morning’s very practically named fourth album. Perhaps the most important thing that he learned during his time there was that there is no right or wrong way to make a record, there is only what works and what doesn’t. This new found freedom has resulted in a glorious album, one that is deeper and slower than before, based around, simple and honest musical creations, the music is more spacious and all the more powerful for it.

If I Go provides an opening track that swaggers onto the scene demanding the listeners undivided attention, essentially built from little more than a simple beat, a pulsing bass line and a commanding vocal. And this makes for a compelling calling card. But it is only one of many cards that Sunday Morning are able to play. Lovers and Tramps is a wonderfully intricate slice of Americana proving that when they want to up their musical game they are more than capable, and Power drives along as a charming, chiming, indie song all hypnotic guitar hooks and cascading vocals.

Waste My Time echoes with the feeling of older outlaw country tunes and bluesy laments and proves that some styles never really go out of fashion, never lose their potency, We Were Wrong is a gorgeously reflective ballad that brims with maturity and compelling lyrics and May Your Heart is a shimmering collision of folk music and slightly psychedelic vibes.

It’s a terrific album, one that covers a lot of ground musically whilst still feeling like a wonderfully cohesive collection. And as great as those weightier and filled out tracks are, it is in the more atmospheric and spacious moments, the songs where you can almost here the great Mississippi River meandering through the gaps between the words or feel the weight of history hanging between the echo of one note and the striking of the next that I find the album’s sweetest and perhaps most defining moments. But whatever your preference there is lots to love here and the sheer quality of the songwriting is a joy to behold.

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