Album Review – Catching The Sun by Away Forward (2020) (Self Released)

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It’s been over three years since Away Forward released their beautiful eponymous debut album. Thankfully, Catching The Sun sees no real retraction of this underlying radiance, despite obvious attempts to add some mud and steel to the dream pop waters.

As such, where the debut had an invariably stripped back essence, that enabled all manner of dream-pop ambience to become accentuated, Catching The Sun demands allure by accentuating jangled guitars within an increased emphasis upon swirling, wall of sound, shoegaze.

This is best seen in tracks such as Smile Recipe, Always, Stakes and the true stand out of the album, Rivalries (see below). These are all jangle-gaze inflections, washed around the foundation of chiming guitar riffs. It’s a bigger sound compared to the debut, but strangely more subtle, despite the extra layers of noise.

It’s not all ‘everything extra’ though. Tracks such as My Darling, I Carry and Written Answers (see below) are sparse memoirs to the fluttering riffs and fragile percussion of and number of early 90’s Sarah Records acts, complete with accentuated vocal legibility and jangly indie-pop inferences. It’s a head nod to yesteryear but the best kind.

Dream-pop acts can often feel ever slightly pretentious as the need to create atmosphere sometimes consumes the traditional need for some sort of musical structure. Away Forward avoid any such tendencies with a sense of compleat ease, as this just feels like the sound they were naturally destined for…still beautiful, but just an altogther stronger sense of beauty.

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