Another Sky: I Slept On the Floor (Fiction) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Thursday, September 24th, 2020  

Another Sky

I Slept On the Floor

Fiction

Sep 15, 2020 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


While other bands surf waves of manufactured hype, Another Sky have been quietly going about the business of crafting their own unique majestic brand of otherworldly avant-garde post-rock-pop. A slew of masterful singles, festival appearances, touring and even an appearance on UK music show Later... With Jools Holland have certainly helped create a buzz around the band. The London based four-piece—who take their name from an Emily Dickinson poem, “There Is Another Sky”—comprises of vocalist/keyboardist/guitarist Catrin Vincent, bassist Naomi Le Dune, guitarist Jack Gilbert, and Max Doohan on drums. Together they have crafted an astounding debut album. 

I Slept On the Floor is an album brimming with soul bruising, heart-bursting, life-affirming beauty and of course, there’s Vincent’s quite incredible voice. “People say I sound like a man, maybe that means they’ll listen,” said Vincent in a press release. When the band played an early gig at St. Pancras Old Church, they performed in the dark as silhouettes, with illuminated circles behind each member. People left the gig questioning if the singer was a woman or a man while Vincent questioned why on earth it should matter.

There’s no doubt that Vincent’s voice is remarkable, not only in terms of its range and depth but also in its ability to reach in and almost touch your soul. Like Kate Bush, Björk, and Liz Fraser, Vincent has that indefinable quality, a voice that seems to come from another realm yet one that is full of power, passion, and humanity. She can flip from rage to tenderness in a heartbeat, which can, in turn, be disorienting, haunting, beautiful, and gloriously uplifting. Combine that with the bands soaring, off-kilter, and beautifully crafted tunes and Another Sky have everything in their canon to conquer the world. If you were looking for some sort of musical reference you could perhaps mention Radiohead, Portishead, Massive Attack, ANOHNI, and Cocteau Twins but that doesn’t really give the whole picture because Another Sky are genuinely blazing their own spectacular trail. There are no bands on the current scene who sound anything remotely like them, and certainly none who are as bold, brave, or ambitious in terms of the depth and breadth of their sound.  

There’s not even the suggestion of a filler on the album. “Brave Face” is a soaring empowering anthem—with Vincent imploring, “only you can demand all you deserve.” It builds into a glorious climax of huge washes of swirling guitars and ferocious percussion while the propulsive “Riverbed” chimes with the sort of artful cinematic melancholic beauty that Radiohead were once so adept at.            

Previous single “Avalanche,” inspired by Tracy Chapman and the #MeToo movement, is filled with raw emotion and confronts “toxic masculinity that bleeds into every other form of oppression,” and when Vincent sings “when you hold them to account they’ll spit you out, just a bad taste in their mouth” you get a real sense of her frustration when speaking truth to power. 

“Let Us Be Broken” is another heartfelt gem, which suggests being open and emotionally vulnerable can lead us to a brighter future and lyrics such as “let us be broken, let us be open/let us name the cage, grow a garden in its place” sound oddly prescient. The album closes with the contemplatively beautiful “All Ends” and the dazzling “Only Rain.”     

This is music that matters, music that fully immerses your senses without the need for gimmicks or bombastic, overbearing production. 2020 may have been a total shit stain of a year but music has been a lifeline for many and there have been some quite wonderful albums released thus far. I Slept On the Floor is up there with the very best of them. It is quite simply a thing of exquisite, radiant beauty. (www.underneathanothersky.com)

Author rating: 8.5/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10



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