The Silent City is the second EP release in an ambitious plan from the local six piece to release three EP’s aurally depicting, in the words of the band, a descent into musical madness. The first EP of this cycle, The Howling Fire, was delightfully rowdy and upbeat in its take on music.
Over the course of six tracks, The Silent City is almost like the Sunday morning after the big Saturday night that was The Howling Fire. Opening with the woozy, melancholy and ethereal “The Smoke”, this is an abrupt about face for those that thought they knew the music of the band. Lead male singer Ade Vincent shows shades and nuances in his vocal style and range hitherto unheard of and beautifully welcome.
The highlight of this release, “Red Road”, features rather striking female vocalist Jane Hendry up front and personal. An incredibly intimate and gripping ballad, featuring sublime use of piano and acoustic theatrics, this has a beguiling slow build and burn to it. This is the type of track that can totally make you fall in love with a band and singer, with such a personal and haunting vibe to it, you feel a bit guilty listening to it, like you’re in someone’s bedroom while they are playing away with some utterly beautiful music.
Other tracks, such as the country tinged “Looking Around” and the almost otherworldly “The Watchmaker”, paint a striking image of a band that refused to be pigeonholed or put into one box as far as their very ambitious soundscape and musical vision is concerned. This truly is an EP that shows the band in a wonderfully fearless light as far as their musical journey and direction are concerned.
The Silent City is a rather brave about face from what one expects from The Tiger & Me. This may alienate older fans, while definitely garnering the band some new ones. It will be interesting to see how the third EP from the band unites their sense of sound and vision.
– Neil Evans