Track Review: Stereo Honey: Angel

‘Gently transporting us through the air, we find ourselves floating toward the gates of musical heaven.’

Re-intro to Stereo Honey:
Not content with releasing four, highly successful tracks this year, (including a beautiful acoustic version of ‘The Heart’) last Friday (17th November) saw Stereo Honey release a fifth: Angel. Teasing fans with a short clip in the build up to its release, it immediately became clear that its sound was a little bit different to that of The Bay, The Heart and Where No One Knows Your Name. However, while artists moving even slightly away from the sound of their debuts can be a risky move, Angel beautifully proves how taking this risk, can most definitely pay off.

Featured Track: Angel
Comprised of chopped ambient samples and rhythmic dual-pitched electro-drums, the introduction to ‘Angel’ is as engaging as it is unsettling. It certainly feels like a step away from the openings in their previous releases. However, don’t fear, it’s only a slight one, and as the track gently builds – through the use of swelling strings – we are guided to the opening lyrics. Suddenly, we feel more at home.

Immensely haunting in nature, the lyrics of ‘pretty little girl, with your, faceless little smile’ emerge from the sparse accompaniment. Gradually coming to the fore, the whisper-like lead vocal provided by Pete is completely enticing. Underneath this, subtle changes, such as the introduction of more lightly strummed electric guitar, occur and in doing so a sense of harmonic structure begins to break through.

Having been beautifully guided through these developments, we reach a somewhat understated chorus. Nowhere near as driven in sound as ‘The Bay,’ the laid back, chorus has just as much energy as the rest of the track: barely any! However, don’t let this put you off. While Stereo Honey have proved in their previous releases that they can without doubt write powerful, if not epic sounding choruses, this track is the perfect showcase for them to demonstrate another side of their sound. And what a wonderful sound it is.

Moving through the verse that follows, the musical atmosphere begins to change and we find ourselves being gradually transported towards a less-unsettling sound. Here, at the mid-point of the track, developments within in the both the accompanying textures and the vocal bring new light to the track. Starting with a growing resurgence of the opening swells, a greater sense of purpose is brought to the accompanying textures and multi-tracked vocal harmony brings more power to the lyrics.

Continuing in this manner, the overall sound becomes more hopeful and with the introduction of trademark dreamy guitar lines and more dominating drums, you feel like you are about to float into the clouds. However, while the track builds both texturally and dynamically, it – rather frustratingly – doesn’t quite take off. Well, not at this stage anyway.

Instead, the chorus returns but where it seemed rather understated before, this time a gradually emerging distorted guitar line comes through. Adding emphasis to the repeating lyrics of ‘she says you’re a fool, drinking for two’ the sound grows and on reaching the gently euphoric climax, we finally reach the gates to musical heaven.

‘Angel’ is taken from Stereo Honey’s forthcoming EP ‘Monuments’ (out Friday 1st December) is available to buy as a single on iTunes now.

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