Evening Hymns - Heavy Nights
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Their first album in five years, Evening Hymns’ new album Heavy Nights is the Canadian band’s fifth album altogether. Though maybe ‘band’ is the wrong noun to go with. The indie folk-rock equivalent of Nine Inch Nails, there is only the one constant musician – Jonas Bonnetta. But that’s where the similarities end.

Opening with ‘I Can Only be Good’, we get the feel of the whole album. A slow, mournful, yet rich and deep Adagio tempo rhythm with lyrics to match. All wrapped around a soft harmony with a sax kicking in at the exact right moment.

And unfortunately, title track ‘Heavy Nights’ is much of the same.

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It only begins to change with ‘Pyrenees’, which has a faster, more Andantino tempo that opens with a saxophone supporting a drum and piano tempo. Almost transcendental in its experience, the soundtrack to an urban neon cluster. It’s like Clannad if Clannad had discovered soft jazz instead of New Age mysticism.

Heavy Nights is a musical tapestry of bittersweet melancholy and romance like a tale of lost love told by a grandparent. Unfortunately, the grandparent in question is in an old folk’s home that you haven’t visited yet – despite the promise to your mother – because it’s just so far away. You have a lot on your plate right now. But there is no way of hiding that you’re a terrible grandchild.

It isn’t a unique sound. Others have gone there before. But, Evening Hymns have given it their… his… their(?) own stamp, which makes it an exciting sound. I’ll admit that it isn’t my exact cup of tea, but I can still appreciate it as well-crafted music.

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There is a ‘but’, however – a large one.

The songs are well made, but the album isn’t. There is so much similarity between each of the tracks that Heavy Nights develops a terminal case of ‘one-track-itis’. With ‘Pyrenees’ giving us false hope of remission, it descends into white noise and, as an album, loses the weight it could have had.

Heavy Nights is out now. Buy it here or stream it here.