Album Review: Firekites – Closing Forever Sky2 min read
Six long years after its debut The Bowery, Australian band Firekites returns with its second full-length Closing Forever Sky. With just seven new songs to play with, Firekites carries listeners through extended yet exhilarating soundscapes.
The title track mesmerises in its simplicity, compelling listeners to simply shut their eyes and lose themselves in the music. The chilled-out combination of shuffling drums, lilting guitar licks, Rhodes piano chords and almost indecipherable yet soothing vocals is hypnotic.
The band also manages to make an almost-six-minute song that is almost completely instrumental sound effortless on the orchestral, winding Fallen. Beginning at a slumber-like pace, its guitars deviate between self-assured, strident strumming and mimicking the tick-tocking of a clock. There is a cautious yet mellow momentum on this track, which slowly intensifies and ultimately threatens to erupt before cooling down like the eerie calm after the storm.
The Counting is another true aural highlight, as listeners would certainly feel like ‘diving in’ to drown in the sea of whispered, celestial Pink Floyd-like harmonies, soft but anchored drum beats sprinkled with sparkly cymbals and earthy guitars. There is the occasional, unexpected distorted guitar screech, but it somehow doesn’t sound out of place.
Electronica touches the drum-machine-driven, unnerving grower Fifty Secrets, whose disconnected parts of varying tempos sound more like a loose musical jam. Somewhere Bright First spooks with its unsettling waltz rhythm, demonic sound effects and oddly nonchalant vocals, suiting a visit to an abandoned haunted house. Despite a reprieve on the sparse guitar instrumental Said Without A Sound (which is a bit of a snoozer), a sinister tone returns on album closer Antidote. Like Fifty Secrets, its stop-start pattern is disconcerting as it oscillates between waltzy moments of languor and energised, four-to-the-floor instrumental passages that show off the band’s quality performances. It is an emphatic end to the album, hinting at the amount of love and care put in into the music.
Closing Forever Sky is spellbinding, though its dark nature and lengthy tracks mean that listeners would need to be in the mood to listen through the album. However, it makes for rewarding repeated plays as new nuances in the arrangements can be uncovered on each listen. It is a definitely an album made for headphones.