With damp and dull indie pop flooding our ears everyday, Aquilo (Ben Fletcher and Tom Higham) rise above the waves of dreary psychedelia with gracious delicacy.
Hailing from the village of Silverdale just outside the Lake District, the duo have captured and weaved the ambience of their tranquil home into their music. The title-track which opens Silhouettes, offers a delicate introduction to their sound. The silken vocals of Higham flow effortlessly with the trickling piano and orchestral accompaniment which gradually cascade into an ocean of dreamy synth notes.
Aquilo occasionally fall foul to the cliches that saturate this genre. Tracks like ‘Human’ and ‘Low Light’ lose their poignancy through worn out concepts and looping ‘oohs and ahhs’. Creating the illusion of effortlessness is the duos artistry and this is distorted when tired ideas are regurgitated.
The single ‘You won’t know where you stand’ however is a triumphant beacon of slow tempo pop, proving it is not always beige and bland as a genre. Likewise ‘Sorry’ is smooth and gentle but also enticing.
Consisting of 14-tracks the album does get a little exhausted towards the end. The track ‘Never Hurt Again’ acts as a positive break from the steady flow of melancholy. Rhythmic rather than ambient it adds flavour to the album and demonstrates dexterity. It’s a shame the pair didn’t implement more defiant tracks like this throughout.
Often this kind of watery pop is produced by dull bands who occasionally find a stroke of colour. As a debut however, Silhouettes is a refreshing introduction to a compelling new band who just have the occasional beige moment.