Another Sky: The most unique and stunning debut album of 2020
Updated: Oct 7, 2020
I Slept On The Floor is an evocative and powerful debut album, with hauntingly stunning vocals and big Post-Rock soundscapes, Another Sky have produced one of the best debuts of 2020.
You can listen to the album on Spotify and YouTube.
First hearing London-based indie-rock band Another Sky on Annie Mac’s Radio 1 evening show last year resulted in a mad scramble to figure out exactly who this new band were. It was a sound that stuck out like a sore thumb so much on Radio 1 that you worried they’d never be played again. ‘Apple Tree’ felt original, unique, with a keen awareness of its Post-Rock and 90s Grunge influences.
18 months later and Another Sky haven’t slipped away into the obscurity that was first feared. I Slept on the Floor (released 7 August 2020) was one of the most eagerly anticipated debut albums from a British band this year. Thankfully, it doesn’t disappoint.
On first listen, I was left thinking ‘wow’ on more than one occasion. The songs are beautifully crafted, painting the picture of large soundscapes, featuring big build-ups and post-rock explosive endings.
Throughout the record, coincidence or not, there are nods to Sigur Ros, early-Verve, Mogwai, Foals, Daughter and even Coldplay (but don't let that put you off...). Not exactly bad company to associate yourself with, though they’ve also developed their own identity at the same time.
One of the main allures of the band is the stunning voice of Catrin Vincent, bringing a delicacy to the music to rival any instrument, moving effortlessly between soft, powerful and poignant. Her vocals are the unique point to the band, setting them apart from their Indie Rock rivals.
In a not so dissimilar way to Greg Gonzalez of American dream-pop band Cigarettes After Sex, it’s a voice so unique you’re often hard-pressed to place a gender on it. On first hearing the band you're left asking 'is it a man?' 'Is it a woman?'. Well, what it is is the greatest weapon the band possesses ('weapon' may not sound like a compliment, but it is definitely meant as one!).
Once in a while, a song has the ability to stop you in your tracks, pause what you’re doing and listen up. The third track on the album, the beautiful ’Brave Face’, had that impact one March morning on Radio 1’s Breakfast Show. It’s rare to hear such an exceptionally vulnerable song being played on mainstream radio, covering themes of self-esteem, mental health and standing up to adversity.
Following the repeat of the line ‘you put on your brave face, now girl’ towards the end of the song, the explosive guitars and drums kick the song into full Post Rock mode. It’s a technique Icelantic band Sigur Ros used so well in ‘Glosoli’, leaving a lasting impression of positivity trumping the sadness felt at the start. And it’ll have you crying tears of sadness and joy (in the inside at least…).
The personal theme is carried again on the melancholic yet upbeat ‘Fell In Love With the City’, Catrin finding an escape from a toxic relationship by moving to London. The following track ‘Riverbed’ features an intense and atmospheric vocal performance, supported by a similar tone of Post-Rock which will have the neck hairs rise, again.
‘Tree’ plods along until a build-up of guitars and drums provide an explosive finale and similar is heard on ‘Avalanche’ and ‘Life Was Coming In Through the Blinds’. Throughout I Slept on the Floor, Another Sky really master the atmospheric, big soundscape ending. t’s clearly a winning formula for them, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy it more times than not, never mind how predictable it became.
The highlight of the album is the penultimate track ‘All Ends’, a slower-paced song with a beautifully repeated chorus of "All Ends" over a stunning piano ballad The National would’ve been proud of.
It’s a simply sublime song. Further proof of the band's variety and their ability to produce a gentle sound to rival the louder rock they’ve also come to specialise.
There’s a haunting beauty to Another Sky that will have you feeling a range of emotions from melancholic, euphoric, sad to hopeful. An emotional rollercoaster ride from start to finish. It’s by no means a perfect album - a couple of the tracks don’t hit the mark as much as the others - but it’s a brilliant start to what should be a long and successful career for the London-based band.