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Album Review: Blackfeet - Choral Reef

There was an air of mystery when I first clapped eyes on the Blackfeet Myspace, there are no pictures of Blackfeet himself, he supposedly sounds like other, other, other, and is influenced by world cup fever. So You can imagine I was keen to listen to the debut album ‘Choral Reef’ which I suppose doesn’t sound like what I expected, although I don’t know quite what I was expecting.

You’re introduced to Blackfeet with first track ‘Brother’, it’s raw with a barely strummed acoustic guitar that sends your hand reaching for the volume. But just over a minute in your right speaker kicks into action, delivering with it an added backing vocal and familiar stereo sound. From the off you realise that this album is extremely dark, and sounds like someone’s thrown grit into your speakers, which is this case feels oddly right.

‘Everybody Running Away’ again starts with a plucked acoustic but feels firmer and the use of a double vocal really works, his voice is low and holds a really sombre tone but when lifted is surprisingly strong. The track then plays out with static from a radio, but the novelty wears off seconds in before luckily after just over a minute you’re greeted with the single ‘Sleep’, which grips onto the overall emotional tone of the album with a dulcet female backing vocal.

The female vocal carries over into ‘Beach Town’, it’s delicacy making it almost inaudible, then ‘Synesthesia’ begins with eerie noises and a constant murmur that ever so slowly builds before it crackles in at the 2.30 mark with a half strum, half slap of guitar. Essentially an intermission track which unsurprisingly finds a place within the album, doing nothing more than to set up nicely for ‘Ziggy’ which in its own way steps the pace up.

Finally ‘Big Fish’ brings things to a close and holds some great harmonies, with the first and only appearance from an electric guitar, this track leaves you wanting a little bit more from Blackfeet.

There’s a real mood running through these seven tracks and the whole album flows just right, with the most basic of recording keeping that raw feel to the whole affair. This isn’t an album you’re going to necessarily get first time round, which is a factor that makes it more appealing. It isn’t straight forward; it’s murky and takes a little time but overall is really satisfying.


'Choral Reef' by Blackfeet is released on November 22nd on Box Social Records.

Blackfeet on MySpace

Connor O’Brien

Alter The Press!