A Roddy Hart and the Lonesome Fire fan lives in me ever since I saw them a while ago as a support act at a gig and got their album, Sign Language. When I found out about the latest self-titled album to be released I was, understandably, pretty chuffed! Surprisingly, the first listen of Roddy Hart and the Lonesome Fire was not as brilliant as I had expected. When I listened again, however, something caught me that hadn’t before. Perhaps I had initially been blinded by expectation, but really, in this album lies a real emotional depth that truly charmed and moved me. It is, in its essence, simply beautiful.
The first track, Days Are Numbered, sets the mood for the rest that are to come. Firstly, it has a very strange yet graceful quality that is hard not to fall for – something that I feel I have heard before in the works of Muse. I really liked this about the song and the rest of the album that follows in its footsteps. The second similarity between this and the other songs on Roddy Hart and the Lonesome Fire, is the intelligence that shines through the writing. The track is quite slow to begin, and has a very gradual but obvious build up into something much more intense. This was what drew me in. I felt I was being swept up in how the music made me feel, and the build-up of the song just built up the emotion. I have to say, on that second listen of the album, I had fallen in love by the end of Days Are Numbered.
Cold City Avalanche and Ghost of Love both continue in the same vein, with some really sweet parts and definitely a lot of feelings. The Big Jump is very short, only being a minute and a half long. It is probably the only track on the album that I would say is a little nondescript, though it does have a lovely piano intro.
Adding a little vibrancy to Roddy Hart and the Lonesome Fire is a little gem called Bright Light Fever. It picks up the pace from the previous tracks and brings the mood up a little. I really love it and would say it is my favourite of the record – it’s definitely one to pay attention to.
There is a graceful track in High Hopes, some great piano mixing things up in Queenstown and another slightly more lively sound from Bad Blood. The latter is a particularly noteworthy song that gets going a lot quicker than most of the rest, and is somewhat rougher and heavier as well. To its credit, the level of emotion in the lyrics and feel of the song are still right up there at the top and this keeps the tone of the album wonderfully consistent.
Going back to the gradual build-up format is Not Nervous Anymore, followed by a couple of sweet and gentle tracks, including Forget Me Not, which is, in my opinion, the best on the album in terms of lyrics: they are really quite enchanting and not something to be ignored. In My Dreams I’m Always Losing closes Roddy Hart and the Lonesome Fire with moments of emotional brilliance, which is really quite apt for the album as a whole.
Overall, I heard an album that has been beautifully written and is clearly very meaningful. There is a definite Muse-like resemblance in some of the music, but this is in no way a bad thing. It may take a few listens to truly get on board with it, but when this happens, I have a feeling that Roddy Hart and the Lonesome Fire will not only be enjoyed, but be truly loved.
Roddy Hart and the Lonesome Fire's self titled album is out on 2nd September 2013 via Middle of Nowhere Records.