Album Review – Horsebeach by Horsebeach (2014) (Label: Alone Together)

Self released on front man Ryan Kennedy’s Alone Together label (used as a vehicles solely for Horsebeach releases only so far) this album/band has a strange but incredibly endearing aesthetic.

Initially it is plain to see and subsequently confirmed in various interviews, that they are plainly influenced by the dynamics of US jangle-pop / indie rock bands such as Real Estate and The Mantles as beautiful sunshine picked twanging guitars chime in an out of consciousness.

However, Kennedy has also managed, via the simple use of a dilatory tempo, doom laden lyrics of lost love and lack of belonging, liberal splashes of muted shoegaze reverb and general lo-fi atmospherics to engender an early 2010’s Manchester strategy to the overall sound.

This both distinguishes them from their influences but also garners them originality from anything else that is within the jangle-pop spectrum at present as it oozes the sort of melancholic charm that a band such as The Smiths perfected. This isbest seen in a track such as Yesterdays (see below).

Other tracks that excel for their sheer beauty include the instrumental June and Even (see below) which has an initial slightly more up tempo vibe and brings to mind some of the better C86 bands of yesteryear.

Although the album does have obvious and consistent beauty, it does occasionally mourn for increased dynamism as all tracks seems to deal not only with the same type of subject matter, but also mobilize the same tempo and general atmosphere. As such it can sometimes be the tendency when listening to the album as a whole to cherry-pick the better parts as the latter parts of the album induce familiarity.

Overall though, this album is highly recommended if you are a fan of shoe gaze, fuzzed up lo-fi indie rock or just seeking moments of beautiful jangle-pop leaning via chiming guitars.

Artist Links

Bandcamp (buy it here)


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