Spokes - Everyone I Ever Met
On their debut LP, Spokes come across as nothing less than Manchester’s answer to Arcade Fire. Frequently choral vocals flit between male and female and their rock sound is embellished with enough violin to give a folksy feel. The opening two tracks in particular are infectiously euphoric. 'We Can Make It Out' has a pagan charm, something akin to a chant for marching through woods and over hills to, a theme backed up by the video. There’s more than a little post-rock influence here. The title track begins as gentle psychedelia, linearly growing messier and louder, wrong-footing the listener in the same way Sigur Ros can. Fleeting acoustic number 'Sun It Never Comes Up' sounds, oddly, like one of Guillemots' quieter moments. Around the halfway mark, the record starts to drift, albeit nicely. It could use a little more variety, although I’d argue it’s easier to digest in one chunk than either of Arcade Fire’s longer efforts. Everyone I Ever Met is undoubtedly an accomplished first album.