Any fan of the “Shoegaze” sound has no doubt heard about the coming of this release and “band”. For anyone else, either uninitiated to the genre or anyone open to good old fashioned “good music regardless of a sub-label”, will need to hear The Soft Cavalry. The self titled debut album will not disappoint anyone needing to hear an album full of sweeping melody, beautifully orchestrated and loaded with hooks, dreams and emotions.
The band is comprised of Steve Clarke (former Slowdive Tour Manager and bass player for David Brent’s Foregone Conclusions) and his wife Rachel Goswell (of Slowdive and Mojave 3 fame). Do not expect them to sound like most of Rachel’s projects (except maybe Minor Victories) as Steve is really the one driving The Soft Cavalry forward. The first two singles that were released (‘Dive‘ and ‘Bulletproof”) are good indicators of the other songs within but not definitive. It’s difficult to pigeonhole a genre to them which is refreshing. This surely isn’t Shoegaze, and it’s not straight Rock and Roll either, but there is certainly a depth rarely found on a debut album.
‘Never Be Without You‘ is the brand new single to drop and is tailor made for radio even if they didn’t intend for it to be. The irresistible beat makes you bop your head along while they duet away sweetly. ‘Careless Sun‘ begins with a Burt Bacharach style “Easy Listening” synth-string arrangement but goes out in a somewhat Beatles ‘A Day in the Life’ style frenzy that lifts your heart. The beautiful ‘The Light That Shines on Everyone‘ has more sticky harmonies from the duo along with some mellotron and harpsichord accompaniment for Steve’s acoustic guitar. ‘Home‘ begins innocently enough and by the end, the synths make you feel like you’re taking off in a Tardis, seeing stars trailing by in an intense rush. It’s pure magic. ‘The Ever Turning Wheel‘ is a fitting conclusion to this epic. It soars you through wispy clouds leaving such euphoria and longing for more.
This debut is surely one for the books. Not a bad track in the lot and it really begs for repeat listening as the textures reveal something new at every play. They have hit the road in support of the album so it will be interesting to see how they translate this finely polished masterpiece in a live setting. This album cannot be praised enough and deserves to be heard by everyone, everywhere.
The Soft Cavalry is out now on Bella Union.