Veteran English alt-rock outfit Deaf Havana drop their first studio album in four years today, and Rocktographers were excited to get our hands on an advance copy.
The long-awaited All These Countless Nights (originally slated for release in 2016) is the fourth full album from the King’s Lynn-based five-piece, and it’s easily the most dynamic release from the band to date.
Originally founded in 2005 on the campus of The College of West Anglia, the group has since endured significant lineup changes, as well as some recent financial issues which threatened their potential demise, even after experiencing heightened success following the release of their 2013 album Old Souls, and a touring gig in support of lead singer James Veck-Gilodi’s biggest musical influence, Bruce Springsteen.
In the intervening years following the Old Souls release, Deaf Havana set out to take control of their future, with changes that included replacing their entire management team and signing with a new label, London-based So Recordings.
Friday’s release of the expansive All These Countless Nights brings the dream of a new era to fruition, as the album feels like the cumulative result of all the struggles that came before it, and the lessons learned therein. It features top notch production and a polished sound that should appeal to existing fans while also bringing some new followers into the fold.
The best way to describe it is stadium rock with an intimate twist. Veck-Gilodi’s deeply personal lyrics chronicling his struggles with alcoholism, love and loneliness are buttressed with towering, anthemic choruses and scorching guitar solos that connote a sense of optimism and emotional intelligence.
On the surface, someone taking a first pass at this album could potentially hear it as simply another unadorned entry in the ranks of generic modern rock, but after taking a deeper dive, the inherent passion and poignancy of the material starts to shine through. And, while the band’s previous work often languished (perhaps a little too much) in the realm of self-loathing, the stories being told on All These Countless Nights seem to have finally found some silver linings. There’s a palpable maturity and even a sense of nostalgia to Veck-Gilodi’s lyrics that are a reflection of the people he’s met and the places he’s been over the last four years.
Standout tracks include the already-released singles “Trigger” and “Fever” (check out the videos for both these songs down below), as well as the emotionally wrought “Happiness,” a raw take on alcoholism, which includes the lines, “I’ve been trying out this thing they call happiness for a while / But I never truly cleared my cluttered mind,”
My favourite track, however, has to be the wistful “England”, which features the clever lyric, “The world isn’t all just a vampire / But England just might be” (God knows I love a good Smashing Pumpkins reference).
Deaf Havana will be hitting the road to support All These Countless Nights with a slew of UK and European dates starting in mid-February.