With 2012’s exceptional ‘Given To The Wild’, The Maccabees set themselves apart from the pack. Securing a coveted Mercury Prize nomination, the album consciously jumped away from the frivolity of ‘Toothpaste Kisses’ and ‘Love You Better’, showcasing a darker, most atmospheric side. Following the band’s amicable split five years and one album later, vocalist Orlando Weeks returns with ‘A Quickening’. A collection of observations building up to the birth of his son in 2018, ‘A Quickening’ takes from The Maccabees at their most ethereal, all-but stripping out the guitar to create a swirling escapist dreamscape. Hinting at Radiohead’s electronic output on ‘In Rainbows’ and ‘The King Of Limbs’, he delivers an all-encompassing sound that marries the anxieties of fatherhood with the unparalleled beauty of new life - not least on ‘St. Thomas’’, a heartfelt ode to the moment he first met his new-born son. Everything is underpinned by his stunning tones, given a huge space to breathe among the record’s vast experimentation. On the brilliantly atypical ‘Moon’s Opera’, somewhere between a lullaby and tribal chant, Orlando firmly demonstrates the range of his vocal ability - a constant across eleven tracks. Pairing this with sincere lyricism and soaring musicianship, ‘A Quickening’ emerges as Orlando Weeks’ most personal record by far, and is nothing short of stunning.
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