Music Reviews

Victory At Sea

The Good Night

Kim Chee

The Good Night, the latest release from Victory At Sea, is a good album. Smart, sophisticated, and more expressive than much of the typical indie rock fare. Stylistically, the band occupies a lot of territory. Lyrically as well, the album focuses on songs where the narrator is inevitably traversing alien landscapes of forced to wander the strange realm between desire and memory. The Good Night is a fitting title for songs that deal with a haunting dreamlike atmosphere that takes place on this album.

The album opens up with the liquid bass lines of “Mary In June.” Gently propulsive drumming carries the narrative forward while singer and guitarist Mona Elliott sings expressively before the song reaches its climax. Tender flourishes of cello accompany her before the keyboards chime in all serve to underscore the musical climax. Yet, immediately on the next track, Victory At Sea create an environment that would not sound out of place on a Nick Cave album. A few notes from a piano and the mournful sounds of a trumpet accompany the singer as she makes her way across a barren landscape.

One of my favorite tracks, “Old Harbor,” recalls a waltz. A waltz that takes place through tenement flats, shanty towns and the refuge of squatters. “Sunny Days,” another great track has the lyrics: “There’s a cloud over your head, it follows you everywhere you go/My sunny days are shorter now that your cloud has taken a liking to me/Luckily, I prefer the rain/Honest I am lighter when it rains.”

Receiving this release, I expected nothing less than another nondescript, angular indie rock band. This was a pleasant surprise and one whose only flaw could be the length. At barely over half an hour, The Good Night is an album that leaves the listener yearning for more.

Kim Chee Records:

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