After the success of their previous release, Blue, which saw them tour across the States and around Europe, Echo Bloom are looking to achieve even greater things with their new album titled Red.
Having previously created an album heavy with the sounds of what can only be described as orchestral-folk, the band have this time opted to taken a different path and have delivered a collection of country style, story driven tracks which show off their versatility.
Opening with "Leaving Charleston", a toe-tapping little number with a gruff country style vocal, the album gets off to a good, although not particularly strong start.
"Operator" might come across as being too quiet and breathy for some, but for anyone who likes the more instrumental side of the band, notably the guitars, this is likely to quickly become a favourite.
There's an energy and positivity that shines throughout "Evangeline" which makes it a great listen and one most certainly worthy of putting on repeat so it's a shame that "Willingham" doesn't quite match up to it, though it's certainly not a terrible track.
I dare you to try and not tap your feet and snap your fingers along to the intro of "Revenge" (trust me, it's hard) but sadly that's the highlight. The heavy guitars in particular often drown out much of the vocal, although the chorus itself is pretty sharp.
Having worked my way through the album, I at first thought it it unlikely that anything would top "Texas Two". There's an emotion that comes across which has been sorely lacking in the majority of the bands' previous material, so it's great to see the group channelling more of it here.
Alas, the follow-up number, duet "Another Rose Will Bloom For You" proved me so, so wrong and it is without question (in my opinion at least), the best song the band have created during their time together - plus I'm a sucker for a violin.
The inclusion of a completely instrumental piece is something most bands might shy away from, but evidently, as proven via "Cynthia's Song", Echo Bloom are not such a group. It's not for everyone, and may even come across as boring to some, but if anything, it shows how tight the group are when it comes to playing and creating the music they love, and for that, they can't be faulted.
"In Orbit" brings back the vocals and returns things to the country style of previous numbers, before the tempo picks up thanks to "The Businessman" - the rockiest and catchiest number on the album. In closing with "Country Op", Echo Bloom once again return to their love of country and subsequently produce a fun little number that will leave listeners smiling and, should they be standing while they enjoy it, dancing.
There is no denying that their frequent touring and impressive performances have only strengthened the band during their time together and this album showcases that progression and development really well.
For fans of the bands' previous work and for those open to listening to different sounds and styles, this is sure to be one of 2016's must have albums.