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.
God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.