Ålesund shine in new EP ‘All Hail to Your Queen’
Ålesund are an alt-pop quartet from Bristol. Their second EP All Hail to Your Queen is empowering and reflective. The new record features the return of producer Jake Bright, and despite being set back by tour cancellations, musicians Alba, Lloyd, Paul and Carlos are as positive and defiant as ever.
From the very beginning, you are met with warm keys and an infectous, yet understated positivity. With a soundscape that has room to breathe and wander, these four tracks glide from realms of defiance to areas of compassion. In ‘All Hail to Your Queen’, we are met with the realms of defiance and celebration. Written as a celebration of the strength and power of women, the title track pulsates through the relentless instrumentation and powerful vocals by Alba Torriset. The grand scale of the track and its power is further echoed in the well-crafted music video, directed by Rob Potter. Here we see Alba take a starring role, majestically dressed in pearl finery and veiled
Secondly, we meet ‘Splinters’, an infectiously uplifting track. The EP’s second entry is Ålesund’s tribute to the hard work and determination of Bristol’s music community. Here, the glistening electronic tones and warm guitar riffs are great accompaniments to Alba’s vocals of care and positivity.
This can also be said for the EP’s third track, ‘Great Expectations’. This track explores the feeling of dissapointment, and the physical and mental toll it brings. This universal feeling is woven through the epic instrumentation and poignant lyrics. The electronic samples also add another dimension of emotion to the track’s thoughts.
To conclude, we hear ‘Home’, which focuses on our sense of belonging, our ‘roots’ and what ‘home’ really means. The dreamy instrumentation descends into soaring choruses, allowing the band’s spirit to shine through. The track works wonderfully because it travels between phases of doubt and certainty, with the music and lyrics working perfecty together to illustrate this in your mind. Furthermore, the vocal echoes and brushed guitar riffs help ‘Home’ to stand out as an appropiate closer to this cinematic EP.
The final verdict
From the get go, All Hail to Your Queen has an empowering and positive spirit that feeds the soul. Even where tracks begin on a footing of tranquility and anticipation, it isn’t before long that the band’s vigour and defiance shine through. Their punchy pop hooks both glisten and bring down walls at the same time. The musical explorations of hardship, dissapointment and belonging are all too familiar. Yet, the band still manage to present them in a refreshing manner. As heard throughout the EP, Ålesund’s spaced out and well-crafted instrumentation leaves the listener to savour the pondering subject matters, each twinkling note at a time.
Festival slots are a big question mark at the moment, but All Hail to Your Queen has shown that the future of Ålesund is definitely bright. Check out Ålesund on Spotify, SoundCloud and their official website. And keep up with the band on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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