The Coral’s last album, 2016’s Distance Inbetween, was, unusually for them, a bit of a chore – it brought bags of dreamy Scallydelia to the party but forgot to bring the tunes, and reeked of a band who were out of ideas. Two years later, and Move Through the Dawn comes bearing a garish dayglo sleeve announcing that The Coral have got their pop mojo workin’ again; an album that pushes the Motown and Merseybeat influences back to the fore and which, whilst not exactly tearing up trees, at least has a lot of fun climbing them.
Opener ‘Eyes Like Pearls‘ sets the tone, a joyous, romantic earworm that would’ve sat very comfortably on their last ‘pop’ album Magic & Medicine, whilst ‘Reaching Out For a Friend‘ tunnels so deep into the 70s cheese mines it could almost be Brotherhood of Man or The Dooleys, and ‘Strangers in the Hollow‘ & ‘Love Or Solution‘ are irresistible psych-soul stompers.
But after that poptastic start, the album does a wonderful pivot 2/3 of the way in and turns into a vintage Coral album that reminds you why you fell in love with these young scamps 16 years ago (16 years!!!). ‘Eyes of the Moon‘ is a gorgeous rewrite of ‘Pass It On‘; ‘Outside My Window‘ and ‘Stormbreaker‘ are raucous, riff-driven pop-psych; and acoustic closer ‘After the Fair‘ is the loveliest song they’ve written since ‘Put the Sun Back‘.
August may be almost over, but Move Through the Dawn captures summer in a bottle and will help you handle autumn. Their best album since 2007’s wonderful Roots & Echoes.
Move Through The Dawn is out now through Ignition.