Halcyon Days

Glass Towers

Dine Alone Music, 2014


REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


It is truly amazing how much energy certain bands are able to inject into their music, so much that you can almost feel it through your headphones. Australian indie rock bands seem to do this quite well – think Midnight Oil or The Jezabels; now you can add to this list the Sydney (via-Byron Bay) outfit Glass Towers. The band’s debut release Halcyon Days is an album so full of energy that it will leave your pulse racing by the time it ends with all the nonstop foot-tapping and head-bobbing that you will have subconsciously (and unavoidably) done while listening to it.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Halcyon Days is a tireless album, and this is not just because of its peppy tunes. There is an overall feeling of exuberance in this record that is so very catchy. Band frontman and principal songwriter Ben Hannam explains, “The album is your invitation back into the heady rush of teenage days.” This sentiment can be felt in the songs on this album, but more so, in Hannam’s voice, which has a carefree youthful buoyancy that is genuinely charming. He sounds (and is) young, but he is a mature and an absolutely amazing singer who sings with absolute fervor and holds nothing back.

The music fits perfectly with the singing, with the crisp and lush ‘80s-inspired guitars setting an ebullient tone to the soaring songs. The passion in the music and the singing on this album is very immediate and full on. There is rawness in the sincerity of this passion; at the same time, the music delivering this passion is refined and splendidly crafted, with beautifully written songs at its core. This combination of expressing emotion at its most natural with a suave musical sensibility is just perfect, and it is something that the band pulls off with such great brilliance.

This is an album that is about freedom and nostalgia, in spirit and in musical expression. According to Hannam, this disc is a form of dedication to his “halcyon days.” Like any good Aussie album with the spirit of the great Australian outback in its veins, Halcyon Days is a perfect companion for a roadtrip: either an actual roadtrip, or a roadtrip through your feelings. Either way, you are bound to find your moment of calm and carefreeness, taking you back to your halcyon days.

Rating: A-

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