Debut album for this Brisbane 5 piece Epithets led by Nick Smethurst, following a first collection of demos. It reminds me of The Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers, Purplene and the two first two albums by Death Cab For Cutie.
In a certain way we are not so far from other bands like Arrows, Mineral, Lewis or Our Anatomy. They have this balance between slowed emo(tional) vocals and melodies using tension and release, quietness and intensity, full of oxygen and open views. Nick Smethurst is citing slowcore bands as influences, such as Codeine, Bark Psychosis, Red House Painters but never totally adopts such approach, he prefers running through meadows with the clouds than stop and look at his reflection on water.
"Year of Glad" is a record full of personal ruminations, of hopes and lucid considerations. If melancholy is a fuel, it is never really a source of self-pitying as he is always clearing a path through a symbolic open window with bright melodic evolutions.
What makes you keep listening to this record is the impression of content and its richness, something like a purebred to break in. The whole process of this album seems to have been to capture the essence of their songwriting and "Year of Glad" looks at times like a draft for future explorations. You can feel they have a lot of room to explore in front of them and a real potential for maturity.
If the central place is given to the voice & guitar, quite soon, drums, bass, violin, second vocals or glockenspiel propel the songs to dynamic and blooming heights. None of these songs go downward even if you can almost touch the sadness behind the vocals, so the whole record is finally easy to listen to, easy to enjoy but never really makes you stop for long, because, at the next corner another run is ready to be launched. Recommended.