Review: Deaf Havana – All These Countless Nights

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A shift from Deaf Havana's previous albums that retains their typical catchiness and passion whilst moving forward with a variation of melodies throughout.

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Deaf Havana’s 11-year career has been turbulent, with frontman/songwriter James Veck-Gilodi’s struggles with excessive drinking and the band’s debt almost forcing them to throw in the towel in 2014. The eventual return to the studio after 2013’s Old Souls, however, aims to showcase their more positive, creative, and energised direction, with Veck-Gilodi claiming All These Countless Nights to be the “most creative [he’s] ever been.”

Singles ‘Sing,’ ‘Fever,’ and ‘Trigger’ didn’t offer much of a symbiotic hint towards the sound of the record, but rather created a confusing puzzle for fans. Whilst ‘Sing’ retained Deaf Havana trademarks like catchy choruses and lyrics, the conflicting ‘Trigger’ required multiple listens to get to grips with its structure, somewhat lacking the gumption necessary to be released as a Deaf Havana single. Most recently, the uninteresting ‘Fever’ seemed all too clearly to be missing something that is fortunately evident elsewhere on All These Countless Nights in tracks like ‘England.’

Elements of the record present a stark new direction from previous sounds that emerged from the Fools And Worthless Liars era. ‘Seattle’ and ‘Happiness’ show the deeper and more emotional side of Veck-Gilodi’s mind – lyrics like “it eats away at everything, but mostly love and the strength we built between us” (‘Happiness’) hint towards the past struggles that the album aims to leave behind. Alongside ‘Ashes, Ashes,’ which opens with Veck-Gilodi leaving his past behind, it presents a recurring theme of progression with a renewed energy. Moments like ‘Trigger’ aside, the album does indeed achieve this, and lyrically it is everything you could want based on what the band incorporated into their previous albums: deep, catchy, and clever.

Undoubtedly, the album’s greatest strength compared to its predecessors is its variation. Whilst it is easy to listen to 12-track record in its entirety, it is equally interesting to hear the differences in both composition and melody that each track possesses. ‘Pretty Low’ features an appropriately-placed guitar solo to add emotion to the somewhat mellow track, whilst ‘Like A Ghost’ embeds a punchier chorus and riff into an otherwise chilled song. Aside from the slower tracks, ‘L.O.V.E’ more closely reflects the older material found on previous albums as, whilst it on the whole lacks some of the raw elements that got them this far, it is to All These Countless Nights‘ credit that there is simply nothing that sounds the same throughout. Once initial conflicts are cleared up, it is encouraging to see the band take such an obviously positive step forward in their career.

All These Countless Nights is released on January 27th via SO Recordings

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Third year History & Archaeology student with an obsession for music, a passion for food and possessor of a very excitable personality.

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