It’s been a long time coming but January 27th will see Deaf Havana release their new album All These Countless Nights. Released through SO Recordings this will be their first album in over three years. So why the wait? The best way to answer that question is simply to listen to the record.
Opening track ‘Ashes, Ashes’ starts off with mellow acoustic guitar and contemplative vocals but soon bursts to life as it reaches the kind of big chorus that Deaf Havana are known for. Here we find frontman James Veck-Gilodi laying his old troubled self to rest as he realises he needs to rediscover himself to move on. This sets the theme for the rest of the album.
‘Trigger’ examines a volatile past relationship with yet another very catchy chorus while the more moody and atmospheric ‘L.O.V.E’ introduces some guilt into the equation. On such a personal collection of songs you’d fully expect an emotional acoustic ballad and ‘Happiness’ provides this, although happiness is still a long way off. ‘Fever’ starts with some throbbing bass and drums which drive the song on to its feedback filled end where things take a funky turn on ‘Like a Ghost’. Ironically ‘Pretty Low’ starts with jaunty upbeat guitar before we are treated to the lead guitar howling over a good heavy riff.
In the midst of this the fierce self-examination continues. The next two tracks seem to play off each other with ‘England’ thinking that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, while ‘Seattle’ is a homesick yearning for home. The tempo has fallen now and remains low on the ballad ‘St Pauls’ which unfortunately has all the lyrical hallmarks of a bad country song. Lead single ‘Sing’ is the highlight with its beast of a riff, soaring melody and huge chorus. The album is brought to a close with ‘Pensacola, 2013’ with crashing guitars and one more emotional chorus.
This album goes some way to explain the personal problems which have dogged the band in recent years and it is hoped that this is the album to take Deaf Havana to a higher level. Musically I found it very enjoyable but quite wearing lyrically. While there has been some personal growing up done on Veck-Gilodi’s part this also seems to have been matched by some musical maturity from his bandmates.
I’m not so sure that All These Countless Nights quite reaches a higher level but it certainly looks like a bridge to achieving it.