We've been keeping a close eye on Ireland's Funeral Suits for a little while now, and this week saw the release of their debut album, 'Lily Of The Valley'. The band worked with Stephen Street (famed producer of Blur and The Smiths among others) to create a record that combines dark electronica, heavy indie rock and anthemic pop. Even throwing in an acoustic track halfway through to keep listeners on their toes.
When we first posted about Funeral Suits, they were a three-piece. Now, they are a quartet. An expansion reflected in the scope of their sound, which veers from pop efforts like 'Colour Fade' to twisted electronic music in the form of 'Health'. Two former singles that lay side by side on 'Lily Of The Valley', as if to prove a point.
The tracklisting is something of a curiosity, no more so on the acoustic 'We Only Attack Ourselves', which may have a beautiful string accompaniment but rather startlingly arrests the tempo of the album. Why this isn't the album's closer, I'm not entirely sure. Indeed, perhaps saying the tracklist is a curiosity is overly generous, it is quite the impediment to the album's overall listening experience. Which is a shame, considering the album's high points match or exceed any of their counterparts' efforts that I've heard this year.
One such high point is latest single 'All Those Friendly People' sparkles with its anthemic melodies, albeit amidst a slightly faltering rap-style lead vocal. It is the glorious 'Florida' however, that best displays Funeral Suits ability to construct a sublime anthem. Hypnotic and triumphant. Uninspired filler tracks like 'Stars Are Spaceships' and 'Machines Too' encompass 'Florida' like dreary book-ends, diluting its supremacy, yet even these offerings have some charm.
'Lily Of The Valley' ends on an oddly low-key note, with the sparse 'I Still Love The High', demonstrating the band's unpredictable sounds one last time before the album's final breath. Nonetheless, this is a considerably accomplished debut record, only really let down by its inconsistent tone - perhaps not a surprise with the vast array of sounds melded into one. A brave decision to take on so many genres but a largely successful one.
Purchase 'Lily Of The Valley' at amazon.co.uk, stream in full above. Find more info at funeralsuits.com.