Album Review: Emanuel & The Fear – The Janus Mirror

It’s not often that you hear of an 11 piece, classically trained New York indie band is it.  Emanuel and the Fear are just that and the crew (you can call them a crew, as there are so many of them) are finally ready to unleash their third studio album upon us – ‘The Janus Mirror’. The record is eight glorious tracks long and delivers some poignant and commanding lyrics alongside some orchestral indie pop. You are in for a real treat.

So they don’t sound much like your usual indie band set up do they? Well that’s because there not, and they’re all the better for it. Emanuel Ayvas (lead vocals, guitar and piano) is a strong and instantly recognisable front man, pouring his heart and soul into every note.

Title track ‘The Janus Mirror’ kicks off on a very orchestral foot (as to be expected). The record seems to be a rollercoaster of ups and downs, heartaches and happiness. ‘Grey Eyes’ is a very melancholy instance, strings are used to add drama, and the band manages to craft one of those beautiful moments where the instruments seem to speak a thousand words.

‘Wooble’ is simply remarkable – a stadium-sized tune filled with raw emotion. ‘Foothills of a Fire’ features groany guitars (in a good way) and some heart-rending lyrics – listen carefully to this one, It’s not a ‘words being placed anywhere’ sort of track, there’s real depth in each line.

Talk about saving the best until last – ‘All We All’ needs little more explanation that the absolute best track on the album. ‘The Janis Mirror’ is packed with so much drama and emotion that it could easily be mistaken for the soundtrack to a musical . They construct an experimental union of sounds and let’s be honest, who wants to listen to another flakey indie pop record? Emanuel and the Fear are here with the perfect antidote amid the sea of mindless indie bravado.

Catherine Elliott


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