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Album Review: A Silent Film - The City That Sleeps

After receiving unprecedented success in the US and in Portugal for their debut album ‘The City That Sleeps’, Oxford based rock outfit A Silent Film have chosen to re-release the album in the UK in the hope that they’ll see some repeated success. .The albums opener, ‘Driven By Their Beating Hearts’, is the first of two additional tracks added to the re-release. Leading in with a choir, some synth and a driving drum beat the track has a very recognisable [mid 2000’s] indie sound and is a sign of the bands ability to compose a well structured pop song.

Following on, A Silent Film’s biggest hit ‘You Will Leave A Mark’ adopts that same archetypal indie sound which dominates the whole album, but seems free from cliché and sounds totally original. The elegant piano lead, catchy chorus and Brandon Flowers-esque vocals all gel together perfectly and maintains the bands unique grasp of non-formulaic song-writing.

The second additional track, ‘Firefly In My Window’, is placed mid album amongst a plethora of classic indie tunes such as ‘Thirteen Times The Strength’, ‘Julie June’ and ‘One Wrong Door’.

There is a distinctly darker feel however with ‘Firefly In My Window’ in comparison to the aforementioned; the tribal drums and atmospheric stringed instruments work well and elevate the song in a way that the others perhaps lack; it was certainly a good idea to include this fan-favourite in the re-release.

After returning to that upbeat feel with 'Lamplight' and ‘Feather White’, the album eventually reaches a climax with ‘Aurora’, an exceptionally heart-felt and emotional track that encapsulates the true essence of the band. This piece solely consists of some elegant piano and vocal work alongside intermittent ambient strings; it creates an effective atmosphere which draws you in and leaves you hanging on every word and is a great conclusion to the record.

With a sound that distinctly echoes the likes of Coldplay, Snow Patrol and The Killers, the one thing that resonates about this entire album is the sheer quality and intricacy of every track. Delicate melodies and refined vocals mixed in with a host of indie/electronic/alternative influences perfectly illustrate A Silent Film’s contemporary take on how “indie rock” should sound; in every instance you’ll probably find yourself singing along without even realising.


‘The City That Sleeps’ by A Silent Film is available now through Xtra Mile Recordings.

A Silent Film on MySpace and Twitter.

Sandeep Dawett

Alter The Press!