Over three years since the release of the remarkably successful Old Souls, British rock mainstays, Deaf Havana, have returned with their long-awaited fourth studio album, All These Countless Nights.
The record sees frontman James Veck-Gilodi laying to rest his old self and embarking on a journey of self-discovery. Best known for their brutally honest lyrical approach and ‘stupidly good hooks’, All These Countless Nights presents twelve impressive tracks that highlight the undeniable talents of the now five-piece band. Despite management issues, line-up changes and the near-end of Deaf Havana, the band are back on top form.
‘Ashes, Ashes’ begins with an acoustic melody that bursts into a series of pounding drum beats and an incredibly infectious chorus, forming an upbeat yet cynical-as-ever opening track. There’s a new-found confidence in Veck-Gilodi’s voice that takes centre-stage on ‘Trigger’, before the seductive atmosphere of ‘L.O.V.E’ takes over as he recalls a lustful and guilt-ridden encounter, accompanied by one of the band’s best guitar riffs yet. However, ‘Happiness’ quickly changes the tone with a beautiful acoustic effort reminiscent of ‘Coffee’. Undoubtedly one of the band’s most honest tracks to date, ‘Happiness’ sees Veck-Gilodi examine the significant impact of his anxiety and drinking habits, particularly on his closest relationships. Despite its gut-wrenching undertones, it’s a track ultimately fuelled by hope.
Recent single ‘Fever’ comes next; boasting traditional Deaf Havana sounds that have been amplified to the next level, providing an anthemic and motivating track that stands out effortlessly, while ‘Like A Ghost’ incorporates electro-pop synths into an upbeat rock song. ‘Feeling Low’ marks that self-pitying track that we’ve come to expect on a Deaf Havana album, but of course, it’s a relatable heart-warmer nonetheless, whereas the angsty ‘England’ expresses a not-so-subtle distaste for that band’s home country.
Fans who joined Veck-Gilodi and multi-instrumentalist band mate Max Britton on their solo tour two years ago will recognise the refined and perfected ‘Seattle’, taking the form of a lonely track that portrays James’ love for ‘London Town’, written during a miserable period of the band’s 2014 US tour. ‘St. Paul’s’ is another tear-jerker as Veck-Gilodi reflects on a past relationship before turning the track into an emotional, and frankly quite beautiful love song to his girlfriend Maria. There’s always an undertone of negativity in the frontman’s writing, but this song identifies a turning point for the singer that presents a new-found outlook on life.
Lead single ‘Sing’ comes next, regrettably referred to as the heaviest Deaf Havana track yet (have we forgotten the early years already?) but boasting an outstanding riff and inspiring lyrical theme that sees the five musicians working at their best. Finally, ‘Pensacola, 2013’ draws the album to a close in an intense and reflective effort that marks one of the band’s greatest tracks of their career.
Deaf Havana have mentioned in recent interviews that this is their best work yet, and they couldn’t be more accurate. The record improves with every listen, and on behalf of fans who have followed the band from the very beginning, we couldn’t be more proud.
All These Countless Nights is out on January 27th via SO Recordings.