UK band Senses Reeling are set to release their full-length album Time’s Still Now on June 14th. It’s a project that showcases a fairly unique approach to pop-rock, often leading with an almost acoustic backbone, spacious soundscapes, and increasingly impressive songwriting.
Signs of The Storm kicks things off and is all of this. The verses pave the way well towards the hook, proving conceptually interesting, as well as notably accessible thanks to the relatable nature of the vocal. While there’s a decidedly retro aura to the production and much of the instrumentation, the strength of the songwriting seems to stand tall in this setting. You can appreciate the pop aspect as much as the potential for a live show, and that makes all the difference.
Press for Freedom follows the opener and proceeds to create its own rules entirely, keeping things eclectic and instrumentally unpredictable. A unique and organic rhythm sections leads towards a quickly engaging, anthem-like, indie-rock style hook. A Brit-pop influence shines through vocally, but you also get a series of topically relevant lyrics that seek to provoke a deeper level of thought.
Someone Else brings in a touch of classic pop-rock, a little reminiscent of The Beatles or even Pink Floyd to an extent – poetry and societal relevance intertwine amidst a creatively free soundscape. Another great hook emerges, a moment of warmth that’s easily memorable. Things build up well afterwards, slowly but surely gathering further momentum. Close then showcases an outpouring of love, a dedication to a significant other, led by piano and a quietly emotional leading voice. A simple yet stunning song that aims straight for the heart.
Later on, The Rest of My Life is a definite highlight, a full soundscape proves quickly immersive, feeling a little Bowie-like melodically, and conceptually appealing for its vastness and accessibility alike. Foreign or Poor follows and reinvents things yet again, creatively building up with expressive rhythms and a series of punk-pop-inspired power chords. Lyrically the song rings all too loudly in light of events from the last couple of years. An intense setting lets these words and memories really strike hard.
Feels like it’s the law – you don’t count if you’re foreign or poor.
A Trick is another highlight thanks to gorgeously smooth vocals, bright and infectious instrumentation, and a simple but compelling melody-line. Self-reflection meets with calming instrumentation to create a moment that’s fairly addictive to listen to. A personal favourite. Labels afterwards brings back distortion to offer an alternative piece that again questions the ways of the world and the boxes we put people in.
Easy is something of a grower – a song you can leave playing in the backdrop and slowly but surely take in the lyrics as the rhythm and various vocals rain down around you. Together follows and connects quickly thanks to a simple piano ambiance and a spoken world vocal laying out a Mother’s day scene then a life in detail before you. A heartbreaking piece of music and writing that again speaks to those deeply human experiences that affect us all. An absolute stand-out for its sheer artistry. An eight-minute journey well worth embarking upon.
Please Don’t Stand out in the Rain follows and offers the familiar comfort of a pop-rock ballad with a beautiful underlying sentiment. Belong then brings things to a marching finish – structurally utilizing every moment, while a softly presented vocal introduces vulnerability and openness to end things on a hopeful and calming high.
Senses Reeling is guided by Nick Fuller, featuring Paul Midcalf and a gathering of other guests. Time’s Still Now encapsulates well the project’s inherent desire to address meaningful, current topics that weigh heavy on many contemporary minds. While these issues hit hard, they don’t come through without hope and a clear push for change – there’s purpose in the process, and Senses Reeling aim to keep that clear throughout. The album introduces a quickly likable and free-flowing musicality – uninhibited, unaffected by industry expectation; just music the way that it naturally appears when inspiration strikes.